The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended the Country Director of Young Educators Foundation, Eugenia Tachie-Menson, who is the brain and force behind The Spelling Bee Ghana, for her immense contribution to education of children in Ghana.
A letter of recognition signed by and presented to her by the President commended Mrs. Techie-Menson for her dedication to the education of children through different programmes for more than a decade.
She earned the recognition based what the President said is her “…12 years of dedication and commitment to the education of our nation’s children through her work at the Young Educators Foundation and establishment of the National Spelling Bee and Young Debaters Competition in the nation of Ghana”
This is a big deal. Any recognition by the President is a big deal and especially so if the person being recognized deserves it.
Eugenia has been working on this Spelling Bee project for over a decade. Each year she and her team would train young people, give them a platform to compete while learning and then choose one of them, the eventual winner, to represent Ghana at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the USA.
Eugenia and her team of trainers travel across Ghana to look for children who want to take part in the programme, groom and train them for the final even that always takes place in Accra. She has been doing this since she brought the Bee to Ghana some twelve years or so ago.
Over the last three years, I have become very close to Eugenia and the Spelling Bee and I can assure anyone who wishes to know that the woman puts in a lot to make The Spelling Bee what it has become.
From pitching for and chasing sponsorships to managing suppliers from production to media to pushing for visas and others for those who would travel, it’s a very tall list for her and her team at Young Educators Foundation.
The fact is that we have not properly understood the concept of The Spelling Bee and how we need to support it here in Ghana. Having seen how communities, counties, towns, cities and businesses in locales come out to support their reps to the national competition in the US, I am convinced we need more education to appreciate it.
A few days before the final event in Accra last year, Eugenia made a very disturbing post on Facebook about how the show might not come on after a sponsor pulled out at the last minute. There was sorrow and horror in that post someone who was willing to help, but not getting the needed support to do so.
I have worked on the production and media for The Spelling Bee, I have been a judge as well and I travelled with Eugenia and Emmanuel Afful, the Deputy National Coach to the United States last year to attend the US national final. Thanks to these experiences I have come to know the level of effort she puts into the Bee’s success any given year.
It is on the basis of this that I have no doubt that Eugenia Tachie-Menson indeed deserves the recognition that the president has bestowed on her. She has paid her dues to education considering the many children who have passed through the programme and whose knowledge had increase as a result her efforts over the past decade.
In her Facebook post after receiving the letter from the President, Eugenia expressed her wonderment at the recognition. “The 3rd President’s Certificate of Recognition goes to you, Madam,” Mr. President says. HOW? WHY? WHAT? I was dumbfounded…really? Oh my GOODNESS!! This cannot be happening…but it was… the Presidency has recognised my contribution towards education in Ghana over the last 12 years!!!!!”
So yes, the woman deserves the accolades bestowed on her by the topmost person of the land and I feel very honoured to have known her and have somehow “recognized” her hustle to make The Spelling Bee what it has become.
Not everyone is as passionate to their work as Eugenia is and that alone deserves commendation. It is this passion that led her to birth such educative initiatives as The Spelling Bee Ghana, Young Debaters Competition, The French Spelling Bee, The Spelling Bee Nigeria and other spelling competitions in local Ghanaian languages.
Eugenia may be the face and force behind the Bee, but there are others behind the scenes who have helped to make it what it is. People like Nii Teiko Evans-Anfom, Nancy Keteku, Jocelyn Coleman, Stella Kankam, Emmanuel Afful, Salome Dzakpasu and many others who have contributed over the years as judges, pronouncers, trainers, volunteers and more have all helped in diverse ways and deserve to be commended as well.Also to be commended are the sponsors whose contributions have helped to push The Spelling Bee and other initiatives to where they are now. Prominent on this list is Ndomie, which has been a sponsor of The Bee for ten years and has promised to continue to sponsor for ten more years. Congratulations all round!
By Francis Doku|3news.com|Ghana
Note: The writer is the General Manager of MG Digital and a member of the judging panel for The Spelling Bee Ghana.