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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 3, 2002

Big Island's defending spelling bee champion wins again

By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i — Tyler Yoshiyama quickly won his second Big Island Spelling Bee championship yesterday and then leaned back to watch a runoff for second place.

Tyler, 14, clinched the title after correctly spelling "debilitated" and "velodrome" during the seventh round.

Golan Remmer of Na'alehu won the subsequent spell off for second place in three rounds.

Tyler, an eighth-grader at Hilo Intermediate School, is a devoted reader and video-game player. He also excels in math, said his adviser, Coleen Kasamoto.

"He just loves books, even when he was little," said Tyler's mother, Gale, an accounts clerk at Waiakea High School.

Tyler, whose dad is a county plumbing inspector, said he was introduced to the spelling competition by a friend a year ago. He went on to win the 2001 finals and returned this year "knowing what I was supposed to do."

District bee schedule
 •  Kaua'i: Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
 •  Leeward: Friday, 7 p.m., Kapolei Middle School.
 •  Windward: Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m., Le Jardin Academy.
 •  Central: Feb. 20, 6 p.m., Mililani Middle School.
His confidence was belied by his dogged questioning of each word. Each time he was presented with a word, he asked for both a definition and then use of the word in a sentence.

He spelled out each of the words, from tether to collateral to typhoon to marinate, enunciating each slowly and carefully.

Golan, 13, aspires to be a published author. His win in the spell off earned him the second qualifying slot for the statewide spelling bee March 16 on O'ahu.

Golan, the son of Iris and Karl Remmer, moved with his family to Discovery Harbour subdivision when he was in the first grade. He claimed he "wasn't really ready for competition spelling" and that he had been "studying like crazy" since winning his school's Bee in December.

He considers himself a short-story writer, "but I have not published anything yet." He also is a soccer player and a frequent library visitor.

The Big Island finals drew 18 contestants from nine schools.

A total of 14 district winners will receive special gifts from Sears, Island Heritage, Consolidated Theatres, Teso-ro Hawai'i, the Hawai'i Court Reporters Association and Anderson News Co.

The State Spelling Bee champion also wins an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in May; a $100 U.S. Savings Bond from Jay Sugarman; Spelling Bee merchandise; a Webster's Third New International Dictionary; a $200 Sears merchandise certificate; and a special gift basket from Island Heritage.

Winner and runner-up will receive $100 and $50 cash awards from Dee Dee and James Sutherland and a Radio Shack CD player and accessories. CompUSA also donates a computer and printer to the champion's school. Travel for Neighbor Island participants and escorts is sponsored by Aloha Airlines.