2016 North Tahoe School Geography Bee title goes to Anna Wright | SierraSun.com

2016 North Tahoe School Geography Bee title goes to Anna Wright

North Tahoe School's National Geography Bee competitors this year: Top row: John Marsh (8th); middle row, from left, Raul Reyes (8th), Trent Carter (8th), Dahlia Brown (7th), Lucas Gardner (7th), Seth Spencer (7th), Austin Frak (6th) and Sawyer Coll (6th); and bottom row, from left, Shea Stewart (8th), Champion Anna Wright (8th), 2nd Place Ben Cutler (6th), Ava Arnold (6th) and Ryan Hertel (7th).
Courtesy Katie Jamison |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — On Monday, Jan. 25, 13 contestants ranging from grades 6-8 competed in the final round of the National Geographic Bee at North Tahoe School.

The previous week, these 13 contestants became finalists after competing in seven rounds of difficult United States and world geography among their peers in various social studies classes.

The final contestants included: eighth-graders Shea Stewart, Anna Wright, Trent Carter, John Marsh and Raul Reyes; seventh-graders Dahlia Brown, Ryan Hertel, Lucas Gardner and Seth Spencer; and sixth-graders Ava Arnold, Austin Frak, Ben Cutler and Sawyer Coll.

The final competition of the National Geographic Bee consists of seven grueling rounds, in which students are given 15 seconds to respond to the question provided.

All contestants participated in the first two rounds. By the third round, four contestants remained on stage, Wright, Carter, Cutler and Coll. In the fourth round, the list reduced to two, Wright and Cutler. These two advanced together to the seventh round, in which Wright and Cutler answered the final question to advance to the championship round.

As Wright and Cutler completed the final round, each contestant had answered four of six questions correctly. In line with the National Geographic Bee rules, these two advanced to the final round tie breaker.

Together, the two answered the first question correctly. It wasn’t until the eighth round that Wright pulled away from Cutler to secure the North Tahoe School 2016 National Geographic Bee Championship title.

A week after the event, Wright completed the online qualifying test to determine her eligibility to compete in the state Bee on April 1.

If Wright succeeds at the state level, she will continue to the next round, and the National Geographic Society will provide an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for state champions and teacher escorts to participate in the national championship May 22-25.

The first place national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the Society.

Katie Jamison is a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at North Tahoe School.

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