National Geographic Bee: State Winners Announced

April 12, 2005

The 55 state-level winners in this year's National Geographic Bee, an academic competition that tests U.S. students' knowledge of geography, have been announced by the National Geographic Society.

By winning the National Geographic Bee in their respective states or U.S. territories, the finalists qualified for the national finals in Washington, D.C., in May.

Each state competition was the culmination of a process that started with some five million fourth through eighth graders in nearly 15,000 schools across the United States.

To qualify for the state National Geographic Bee, each student had to win his or her school's Geographic Bee. They then had to earn one of the top hundred scores in the state on a written qualifying test.

The first prize at the state bee is U.S. $100 and an expenses-paid trip to the national finals on May 24 and 25. The national champion will be awarded a U.S. $25,000 college scholarship. Second- and third-place winners receive $15,000 and $10,000 scholarships.

The championship round will air May 25 on the National Geographic Channel and afterward on public television stations. (Check local listings for day and time.)

The National Geographic Bee was started 17 years ago to help promote geography education. Bee champions pore over newspapers, atlases, textbooks, and Web sites to gather a vast knowledge of geography.

"National Geographic employees would have a hard time competing against these bright youngsters," said Mary Lee Elden, director of the National Geographic Bee. "Now the hard part for the staff of the National Geographic Bee is preparing questions [for the national round] that challenge these geo-whizzes."

National Geographic Bee
2005 State Winners

Alabama: William Moody, Lee-Scott Academy, Auburn

Alaska: Leif Johnson, Teeland Middle School, Wasilla

Arizona: Kevin Bertram, Valley Academy Charter School, Phoenix

Arkansas: Sydney Rasch, Cabot Junior High School South, Cabot

California: Peter Johnston, St. Simon School, Los Altos

Colorado: Ben Black, Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette

Connecticut: Liam McCarthy, Middlesex Middle School, Darien

Delaware: Bailey Elmore, Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences, Georgetown

Department of Defense Dependents Schools: Neil-Patrick Villamora, Yokosuka Middle School, Yokosuka, Japan

District of Columbia: Ben Geyer, British School of Washington

Florida: Jesse Weinberg, Ransom Everglades Middle School, Coconut Grove

Georgia: Yeshwanth Kandimalla, Simpson Middle School, Marietta

Hawaii: Michael Kempnich, Emmanuel Lutheran School, Kahului

Idaho: Andrew Leuchtman, Mountain View Middle School, Blackfoot

Illinois: Bonny Jain, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Moline

Indiana: William Weitzel, Evansville Day School, Evansville

Iowa: Drew Coffin, Northwest Junior High School, Coralville

Kansas: Benjamin Detrixhe, Clifton-Clyde Middle School, Clyde

Kentucky: Matthew Hensley, Beaumont Middle School, Lexington

Louisiana: Stephen Levy, St. Paul School, Covington

Maine: Jonathan Brock, Sanford Junior High School, Sanford

Massachusetts: Krishnan Chandra, West Middle School, Andover

Maryland: Nicholas Sundback, Westland Middle School, Bethesda

Michigan: Jamie Ding, Parcells Middle School, Grosse Pointe Woods

Minnesota: Nathan Cornelius, Marshall Area Christian Home Educators Association

Mississippi: Ryan Ezelle, Union Middle School, Union

Missouri: Matthew Thampy, St. Charles County Homeschoolers

Montana: Michael Capozzoli, Paris Middle School, Great Falls

Nebraska: John Borstelmann, Irving Middle School, Lincoln

Nevada: Paige de Polo, Little Flower School, Reno

New Hampshire: Nicholas Amadeo, David R. Cawley Middle School, Hooksett

New Jersey: Tejas Raje, Crossroads North Middle School, Monmouth Junction

New Mexico: Ian Erickson-Kery, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque

New York: Jonathan Katz, Scarsdale Middle School, Scarsdale

North Carolina: Omar Hamad, Daniels Middle School, Raleigh

North Dakota: Eric Moos, Langdon Area Middle School, Langdon

Ohio: Nirbhay Jain, Ottowa Hills Elementary, Toledo

Oklahoma: Vivek Koduri, University School, Tulsa

Oregon: Samuel Brandt, Roosevelt Middle School, Eugene

Pacific Territories: Dorothy Charles, Harvest Christian Academy, Barrigada, Guam

Pennsylvania: Jim Sutter, Hampton Middle School, Allison Park

Puerto Rico: Stephan Coll, American School, Bayamon

Rhode Island: Karan Takhar, The Gordon School, East Providence

South Carolina: Atkinson Dillingham, Westminster Catawba Christian School, Rock Hill

South Dakota: Josh Bucher, Patrick Henry Middle School, Sioux Falls

Tennessee: Cody Simons, Meigs Magnet School, Nashville

Texas: Josh Eslick, Parker County Christian Home Educators

Utah: JeffreyBennett, Midvale Middle School, Midvale

Vermont: Ian Rockwell, Browns River Middle School, Jericho

Virgin Islands: Diamond Ash, Joseph Gomez Elementary School, St. Thomas

Virginia: Ryan Thompson, Thomas Eaton Middle School, Hampton

Washington: Max Sugarman, Pine Lake Middle School, Sammamish

West Virginia: Yiping Wang, Beckley Stratton Middle School, Beckley

Wisconsin: Dustin Becker, Greendale Middle School, Greendale

Wyoming: James Mothersbaugh, Park Elementary School, Casper

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