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He has been a staple at the local island Spelling Bee competitions and proven to be one heck of a speller. This year he is one of only 12 finalists from around the country to be competing in the 2015 Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee Finals taking place on June 5, in Corozal. Elias Zetina will be proudly representing San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Elias lives in the DFC area with his parents and one brother and attends New Horizon SDA School. After winning the Zone 5, 21st National Coca Cola Spelling Bee elimination held in Ambergris Caye, he went on to place in the Belize District meet (regionals competition) where he advanced to the National Finals! 

Ambergris Today discovered that this hardworking young man is very dedicated to his craft and a star student at this school. Elias attends a daily coaching session for no less than one hour (which often runs into extra time) and then reviews at home with his parents before going to bed. Both of his parents work with Elias on the weekends, looking up word origins, difficult to spell words and review the required spelling list. The Spelling Bee study time is on top of his regular class schedule, his PSA test preparation and final exam preparation. He is one hard working young man.

On June 5th, assuming travel funding is fully in place, Elias, his family, teachers, coach and approximately 40 of his classmates at New Horizon will make the trip to Corozal to cheer Elias on to victory. The Minister of Education provides a travel budget for all finalists, but it is not nearly enough to cover the cost of the trip from Isla Bonita, so Principal Hernandez of New Horizon School and Elias’ mother are meeting with the Mayor Danny and Minister Heredia this week to request additional funding for the school trip.  The group is very optimistic about obtaining the funding needed to accompany Elias.

Elias has been diligently preparing for the spelling bee and is very confident that he will do his school and island town very proud. The winner is awarded a considerable prize package including tuition for Forms 1-6 and home computer. Ambergris Today and the entire community of San Pedro are routing for Elias and wish him all the best at the upcoming Spelling Bee competition.

Island Spelling Bee Champ Prepares to National Competition

Elias Zetina's Coca-Cola Spelling Bee trophies from 2014 and 2015

Island Spelling Bee Champ Prepares to National Competition

Island Spelling Bee Champ Prepares to National Competition

Elias Zetina at the Belize District Spelling Bee Finals April 27, 2015

Island Spelling Bee Champ Prepares to National Competition

Elias Zetina wins local Zone 5 Coca-Cola Spelling Bee in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

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Dorian Nuñez

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