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The 17th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee produced fierce competition among the 20 participants, but it was Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools student Prachi Kondapuram who took first place.
The event was held at the Crown Ballroom in Atlantis yesterday.
Prachi, 11, of Queen's College, said she did her best to remain calm and focused, chalking up her victory to fastidious preparation.
Prachi, who was still processing her win last night, said, "I can't feel anything right now".
"I am very excited to be going to Washington. I hope I get at least past the written rounds and go into the speaking rounds that will be televised. The Bahamas will place this year."
Asked about her work ethic up to last night, Prachi said, "It has been tons of work, especially for Ms. [Joyelle] McIntosh (coach) who had to tackle tutoring and made us stay two hours every day after school."
Prachi went 23 rounds, winning with the word 'photographer'.
She went one round with sixth grade student Donovan Butler, 11, of Xavier's Lower School, but in the end it was the word 'impertinent' that defeated him.
Prachi will represent The Bahamas at the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition in Washington, D.C.
She will be accompanied by second place contestant, Donovan, and third place contestant Franqel Hagan, 10, of Hugh Campbell Primary School in Grand Bahama.
Prachi was showered with prizes, including a laptop computer, and a $750 cash prize, among many other gifts.
Donovan, who placed second in the previous 16th Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee, said he was disappointed to be a runner up two years in a row, but he is already focusing on next year's competition.
"I still have next year and hopefully I will do better," he said.
"I have been studying long hours and I have put in a lot of work, and I will continue that."
Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald wished the winner and participants great success.
"To the winner, our high praise and immeasurable support as you become a spelling ambassador for our country," he said in his message.
Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Prime Minister Perry Christie shared similar sentiments in their messages.
The Bahamas National Spelling Bee held an additional three rounds as part of the preliminary competition on Friday, in which Donovan placed first; Adon Beckford, 11, of St. John's College placed second and Prachi placed third.
Friday 4th November 2011 8:00 PM
Terry Waldo Ragtime, Jazz and Blues: The Roots of American Pop Music Ragtime, Jazz and Blues: The Roots of American Pop Music Friday, November 4th, 2011 - 8:00 PM College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre After opening the 2011-2012 with Dmitri Berlinsky (violin) and Elena Baksht (piano), the Nassau Music Society announces the second event of the year on Friday, November 4th at 8pm at the Performing Arts Centre of the College of The Bahamas and on Saturday, November 5th at 7:30 pm at St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay featuring Terry Waldo. Terry is often considered the living link to the ragtime and jazz masters of the past. He is the protégé of the late Eubie Blake, and he also studied and performed with many of the early jazz masters in New Orleans and the West Coast revival legends such as Turk Murphy. He is recognizes as not only a virtuoso ragtime, stride and blues pianist but also a vocalist, an arranger, a comedian—famous for his dry wit—and leader of many highly regarded musical groups. He is a composer not only of rags and show tunes, but of movie and TV scores as well. The Society's goal this Season is to increase the numbers of persons attending the concerts and spread the appreciation of all types of music. They encourage all to promote their concerts with friends and families so more persons can be exposed to beautiful music.
Monday 27th June 2011
As an academic summer camp, Explorers Summer Camp raises academic skills, test scores and grades. We also increase self-confidence, motivation, and focus of our campers. What will be taught? Reading - mathematics - Spelling - English - Computers - Science CyberTech Training Centre Ph: 322-4223 www.cttcbahamas.com
Nassau, Bahamas - In a
technology driven age, Computer Science has become a fundamental field
of study that drives the world, yet in The Bahamas, it remains an
unchartered subject in school curriculums. Now, an e-learning specialist
who has just returned from leading a seminar of international experts
says it's time to wake up and smell the future.
"The study of
Computer Science is just as important as Mathematics and English," said
John Bain, the Principal of JSB & Associates and Chairman of the
e-Learning Committee of the Association of Chartered Certified
Geoff Houston has served as a senior executive for British-based Cable and Wireless Communications in several countries, including Seychelles, South Africa, the Channel Islands and Jamaica. In 2010 he received LIME's Caribbean Customer Service award for best service organization for his work in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (LIME is the telecommunications subsidiary of Cable and Wireless in the Caribbean). He is now the CEO of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company.
Guardian Business: What is the biggest challenge facing your business or sector? What measures need to be taken in The Bahamas to solve it?
Geoff: Because BTC is a technology-driven industry, our biggest challenge is grasping constant change and delivering groundbreaking products with blazing speed and dependability. The industry literally changes by the hour. What seemed new yesterday is history three months from now. So we are continually adapting to the twin challenges of an industry constantly reshaped by transforming technologies just as we are experiencing now with high speed broadband access over a mobile phone network - 4G, and keeping pace with a new generation of consumers who continually find new ways of interacting with and adapting the services and technology we provide. As for what the country can be expected to do, it's dual. First, continue to create a practical regulatory framework to make the playing field in a competitive environment predictable with clearly stated standards. Second, increase technology information and modern computer science in school curriculum. That will help prepare people not just to use BTC products and services but to hold key positions and become entrepreneurs.
GB: How has your business changed since the financial crisis?
Geoff: Our business faces many of the same challenges as many others - dealing with an environment where consumers and businesses are seriously searching for new ways to save money or maximize existing investments. The elasticity of demand is stretched and we, like our customers, want to conserve, spend smartly and ensure that what we purchase and commit to has lasting impact.
GB: Can you describe a life experience that changed how you approach your work today?
Geoff: The birth of my daughter and fourth child, Niamh. Up to that point my work/life balance was definitely towards work. We were living in The Seychelles with our other three children when I was asked by Cable and Wireless to travel to Oman and Bahrain to fix a critical business project. It was only meant to be a three-week project. A week after I departed my wife went into labor and gave birth to Niamh, 14 weeks premature weighing only 1.5kg (3.3 pounds). Luckily, my in-laws were there to look after my three sons but my wife and Niamh had to be flown to South Africa to save the baby's life. They stayed in a great hospital in Johannesburg for six weeks - Niamh's middle name Sarona is actually after the nurse who worked with her all that time. I decided to stay with the business crisis in the Middle East rather than coming home to help and the project went on for four months! I finally caught up with Niamh and Mummy when she was flown to another hospital in Yorkshire, England. Seeing her for the first time at four months and still in an incubator was quite moving. I realized then something I should have known all along: family and health are much more important than anything else, and since then I've tried to maintain a much healthier balance between work and family.
GB: What are you currently reading?
Geoff: I'm currently reading "The One Percent Doctrine" by Ron Suskind
GB: Has the high cost of energy hurt your business? What solutions have you initiated or considered to combat it?
Geoff: We are a huge energy consumer with bills that total millions of dollars a year. We are actually in the process of implementing a wide-ranging programme to manage this very important cost component. A big part of this is awareness - it's still quite amazing to see how we all misuse facilities around us so we're trying to make our colleagues more aware of the importance of reducing air conditioning costs or something as simple as turning off lights when you leave a room or office. We also established a trial site at Poinciana to put in place measures to see how we can reduce our costs by 25 percent over the next 12 months and make this a template for the whole business. We're installing motion sensors everywhere, reviewing our AC utilization, switching off all our legacy networks, installing meters to help us monitor usage better, and looking for opportunities to upgrade older equipment for less power-hungry newer hardware. For us this is not going to be a one-off event and we want to make this a consistent every-day feature of our business, so we will look at other more advanced greener opportunities, including solar power for our cell sites.
GB: What makes a great boss? What makes a bad boss?
Geoff: Great bosses communicate easily with everyone in an organization. They create an immediate emotional connection for people in the business, they agonize over choosing the right people, they can effortlessly communicate priorities, easily motivate people to achieve even when they are unsure themselves, and take an active role in clearing the hurdles that prevent people from performing.
Bad boss traits are too numerous to mention. Command and control types from a bygone era are probably the hardest to deal with in today's fast-changing business environment. Arrogance and an inability to listen to colleagues or customers, and not being able to tune in to a company or community cultures, will ensure missing the target frequently.
GB: If you could change one thing concerning business in The Bahamas, what would it be?
Geoff: We are really finding things very straightforward. Access to people and decision-makers is open, customers and colleagues provide feedback without hesitation or reservation. I'm too new and still relishing all the challenges I currently have - ask me in another 12 months and I might have one.
GB: What keeps you grounded? Do you have any major interests other than work?
Geoff: Four demanding children keep me grounded. I like to run as much as I can, usually on the beach in the early morning.
GB: What should young businesses keep in mind in this current economic climate to survive?
Geoff: Stay close to customers and colleagues and stay focused on a small number of priorities. A lean, cost-efficient, risk-averse business has more options than a bloated one taking chances on new ventures in markets where disposable incomes are tight.
GB: How would you describe or classify the ease of doing business in The Bahamas?
Geoff: It all depends on what you are used to, I suppose. Personally speaking, I've lived and worked in a lot of places, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. Everywhere has its own unique challenges. Straightforward is how I would describe doing business in The Bahamas. One aspect which fascinates me is how connected everyone in The Bahamas is, so you need to pay attention to what you are proposing and to whom. It doesn't take long for word to get out. This can be a game changer depending on how you play it. I think that awareness of the human climate around you and sensitivity to feelings are extremely important and that is good because it heightens yours senses. In the end, it is like everywhere else in one regard - it's always all about the people.
Saturday 14th May 2011
Sports, Arts, Science, Music, Computers and More! The Summer Camp and Activities Expo will address the unique needs of parents by bringing summer camp programs and activities in one place. The event will: 1. Simplify the search for the best summer camp experiences in the country, 2. Provide face-to-face interaction with camp directors and representatives and, 3. Create a fun, playful and productive experience for potential campers. For more information or to exhibit contact: 676-3626
Sunday 5th December 2010 6:00 PM
Presented Bel Canto - Eldridge McPhee, Director Concert - 6:00pm - Wine Reception Donation: $25 Start Time: December 5th at 7:00pm Where: St. Andrews, The Kirk Proceeds to benefit the AIDS Foundation and Unity Centre Box Office at Custom Computers, Cable Beach and East Bay St. For more information, contact 242-325-9326 Email: email@example.com
Monday 20th June 2011
Interested in Training Your Brain??? Want to Make it FIT for learning?? A team of professionals offering a learning program that incorporates Fast ForWord - a scientific based, brain training computer program which helps children and adults learn and perform at their maximum potential. Blast off Dates: June 20th - July 29th Activities Include: Arts, Crafts, Scrapbooking Reading & Critical Skills Building Demonstration Days Field Trips If your answer is yes, contact CARE today to find out how!!! Centre for Achievement, Resources, and Empowerment Dewgard Plaza, Madeira Street, Nassau, Bahamas. Phone: (242) 322-3010. www.carebahamas.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Follow Us on Facebook: Care Bahamas
Wednesday 5th May 2010 6:00 PM
The Consignment Shop invites the public to enjoy Wine & Cheese during its new late night shopping night each Wednesday. Held from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, see Nassau's best second hand furniture and previously-owned values. Get cash by bringing your 2nd hand items in to sell! Browse over 5,000 items of used furniture & high-quality items at low prices including: computers, printers, sofas, mirrors, fabric, blinds, kitchen ware, baby items and high chairs, coffee tables, wine racks, tools, original art and prints, collectors items and jewellery. Located in Nassau Palm Hotel car park, off Nassau Street near Bay Street. For more information, contact 242-325-0077 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire engulfed the National Emergency Management Agency's (NEMA) new facility on Gladstone Road early yesterday morning, gutting a portion of the building.
The fire occurred around midnight, extensively damaging the northwestern section, authorities said.
The organization moved from cramped quarters downtown into the more than $2 million facility around three months ago.
Salvage teams, including prisoners, who were being overseen by Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officers and NEMA officials, were sorting through much of the charred remains, when The Nassau Guardian arrived around 11 a.m.
NEMA Director Captain Stephen Russell said around a dozen employees occupy the building for day-to-day operations, but no one was in the building at the time of the blaze.
In the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane, up to 40 representatives from various government agencies can mobilize there at the facility.
The cause of the blaze up to yesterday evening had not been determined.
Assistant Superintendent Ernest Hanna of the Fire Services Department said police do not suspect arson, but have not ruled it out.
"The most difficult part of our response was gaining entry to the building as it was properly secured and the fire was confined to the workstation area," Hanna said.
"The electrical supply was comprised due to the damage... to the wiring system.
"That is one of the major repairs that will have to be carried out."
The new facility has a boardroom, three offices, staff cubicles, a staff lounge, full kitchen fitted with granite counter tops and an operation and training center.
Following an assessment of the damage, Russell said the staff cubicles, several computers, copiers and the roof above that portion were all destroyed.
He said several teams from the Ministry of Works assessed the facility yesterday to determine what repairs need to be made, but he could not put a value to the damage.
"To find this unfortunate event is disheartening. It's heartbreaking," Russell said.
"When I called some of the employees this morning on my way here, they could not believe me and thought it was a joke, but I told them it was serious."
He added, "We are still functioning, and you can contact us for any business related to NEMA at the Cabinet Office on 322-3220 and 376-6362."