Geography bee semifinalists on to state
Some folks have difficulties deciphering which direction is north, let alone remembering the names of rivers in South America.
For three students in Stillwater County, however, such a task would be a breeze.
Sean Culbertson, a Columbus sixth-grader; Jacob Broyles, a fifth-grader from Rapelje; and Loli Jarrett, a Reed Point sixth-grader, all qualified to compete in the state-wide geography bee.
Each was the winner of their respective school-level competitions. Culbertson beat out 10 finalists from Columbus fourth through eighth graders. Jarret beat 10 fifth- and sixth-grade participants, and Broyles came out on top of the nine preliminary winners from Rapelje’s fifth through eighth graders.
While winning the school-wide contest is impressive, that alone was not enough to advance to the state competition.
The three students also had to take a written test and send it to the National Geographic Society, the event’s sponsor. Only the 100 top-scoring students across Montana qualified for the state bee – a number that includes Culbertson, Broyles, and Jarrett.
The three semifinalists from Stillwater County will now compete in the Montana National Geographic State Bee in Missoula on Friday, March 31.
One of them may put Stillwater County on the map by winning the state bee and going to Washington, D.C., for the National Geographic Bee Championship. The winner at the state level will receive $100 and an atlas in addition to the trip to the nation’s capital.