Grace Christian produces first geography champ |

Grace Christian produces first geography champ

Special to The R-C

Eight contestants recently participated in the National Geographic Bee at Grace Christian Academy in Minden, including Bryce and Zach Unger, Zoe and Luke Tkaczyk, Daniel Taylor, Matthew Shick, Jee Youn Benton, and Daniel Barulich.

The event was held in the school’s new modular building.

Enthusiastic parents, contestants, and others enjoyed observing the action. Seven preliminary rounds of questions were given, narrowing the field to two finalists in a championship round.

Zoe narrowly missed the final round and finished third in the event. Jee Youn and Matthew made it to the finals and were given three tough questions to help find a champion.

Matthew got two out of three championship round questions correct to win the event. A few of the correct answers during the event were “Apalachicola Bay in the Gulf of Mexico,” and “the country of Mali in Africa.”

After the event, participants gathered for refreshments and snacks and discussed how much fun the bee had been. Everyone is looking forward to the event next year.

The school’s seventh- and eighth-grade geography teacher, Holly Tollefson, presided over the bee. Her husband, Lars Tollefson, sat in as judge, and sons Matthew and Andrew assisted as time and score keepers.

Matthew Shick did the fifth-grade class proud, lending additional credibility to another question, “Are you smarter than a fifth-grader?”

As the winner of the GCA bee, Matthew will now take a test to qualify for the Nevada State Geography Bee on March 13.

For more information about the bee, visit