Byron-Bergen Bees go global with National Geographic Bee Competitions

By on January 22, 2017

The local levels of the National Geographic Society’s Geographic Bee were held in Byron-Bergen schools on January 5. At the Jr./Sr. High School, 25 Byron-Bergen seventh-and-eighth-grade students were invited to participate, based on the results of a written test taken in December.

They all took part in the preliminary rounds, with the winners—Sadie Cook, Richard Denson, Josh Flemming, Colby Leggo, Andrew Parnapy, Josh Swapceinski, Corden Zimmerman and Matthew Zwerka – competing in the finals.

The top two contestants, eighth-graders Andrew Parnapy and last year’s winner Richard Denson, went on to match wits in the Championship Round. After answering three challenging questions correctly, Parnapy was declared the 2017 National Geographic Bee champion. He received a medal and a $35 Amazon.com gift card. Runner-up Denson also received a $20 gift card.

The next step for geography expert Parnapy is another written test. If his score ranks among the highest in the State, he will be invited to the New York State-level Bee. The winner from each state competes in the National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. hosted by Alex Trebek.

At the Elementary School, students from grades 4 through 6 qualified for the Bee by achieving the highest scores on a written test taken in December.

Student participants were: Jack Benstead, Dayanara Caballero, Cameron Carlson, Caris Carlson, Braedyn Chambry, Noah Clare, Evan Cuba, Kendan Dressler, Gianni Ferrara, Emily Henry, Frank Hersom, Eli Kupfer, Jackson Lundfelt, Stephanie Onderdonk, Elizabeth Piper, Brilyn Rebisz, Quintin Rich, Zoey Shepard, Andrew Zimmerman and Nicholas Zwerka.

The Elementary School’s 2017 National Geographic Bee champion is sixth-grader Nicholas Zwerka. The runner-up is fellow sixth-grader Cameron Carlson. Zwerka, like Parnapy, also moves forward in the competition.

The National Geographic Bee is an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society, designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world. Each year, thousands of schools across the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee, competing for college scholarships and the glory of being the National Geographic Bee Champion.

    Provided information and Photos

National Geographic Bee champion at the Elementary School Nicholas Zwerka (l), with runner-up Cameron Carlson (r).

At the Jr./Sr. High School (l-r): Front - National Geographic Bee winner Andrew Parnapy and runner-up Richard Denson; back - social studies teachers Aaron Clark, Nick Muhlenkamp and Ken Gropp.

At the Jr./Sr. High School (l-r): Front – National Geographic Bee winner Andrew Parnapy and runner-up Richard Denson; back – social studies teachers Aaron Clark, Nick Muhlenkamp and Ken Gropp.

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