Kurt Kessler of Atherton, an eighth-grader at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park, has qualified to represent the school at the state level of the National Geographic Bee on Friday, March 30, at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.
More than 2000 schools from Yreka to Calexico competed this year in school geography bees, and only the top 100 students in California advanced to the state level.
The winner of this geography bee will represent California in the national competition, which will be held May 22-23 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Kurt, the school champion, was invited to the state competition after taking a written multiple-choice test.
The National Geographic Society developed the National Geographic Bee in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the U.S.
For information on the California Geographic Alliance, go to Web Link
Following is information from Hillview Principal Michael Moore on winners of geography and spelling bees at Hillview: Each year, during the month after the winter break, Hillview Middle School holds its school-wide spelling and geography bees. Class champions are selected through section contests, and those winners participate in lunch-time competitions.
Geography bee: This year, Kurt Kessler -- last year's seventh-grade geography champ -- retained his grade title in the eighth grade, and also finished first in the school, followed by another eighth-grader, Kai Masuda. Seventh-grader Sarah Cassebonne came in third, with Patrick Reed as that grade level's runner-up. Ben Weiner and Nathan Elkins finished first and second, respectively, in the sixth grade.
Spelling bee: Ben Weiner also did extremely well in the spelling bee, coming in second, overall, behind eighth-grader and school champion Gregory Owen. Another sixth-grader, Olivia Ives, was third in the school competition. Alan Propp and Franklin Bird were first and second, respectively, in the seventh grade, and Sam Hausman was the runner-up among eighth-graders. Gregory Owen represented Hillview in the Bay Area spelling competition at the Lawrence Hall of Science in February.