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National Geographic State Spelling Bee semifinalists named

By Staff | Mar 25, 2016

Eight Jefferson County students have been notified by the National Geographic Society as semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2016 West Virginia National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. on Friday, April 1.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which celebrates 28 years in existence. Students in grades four through eight participated in the initial geography bees throughout the state to determine each school champion.

Audrey Davis from Wildwood Middle, Eli Dillow from Shepherdstown Elementary, Tyler Donley from Shepherdstown Middle, Ethan Fisher from Harpers Ferry Middle, Hayden Jeffries from T.A. Lowery, Joss Poteet from Driswood Elementary, Cassidy Rucker from C.W. Shipley Elementary and Joshua Shupe from Charles Town Middle will all advance to the 2016 West Virginia National Geographic State Bee.

“Part of the mission of schools is to help our students develop into global citizens and I believe this program helps develop student awareness of the larger society they live in.” said Bondy Shay Gibson, superintendent. “Jefferson is proud that eight of our students will be traveling to Athens,” she continued.

School champions took a qualifying test, which was submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and U.S. territories to compete in the state Bees.

Each state champion will receive $100 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship. The National Geographic Bee Championship will be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 22-25.

The national champion will receive a $500, a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the Society. The national champion will also travel with their parent or guardian on an all expenses paid trip to the Galapagos Islands, where he or she will experience geography firsthand through up-close encounters with the islands’ unique wildlife and landscapes.

To learn more about the National Geographic Bee, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee.