On Wednesday, January 16, 2019, Middle School history teacher Andy Krugman and eight middle school finalists took their places on the stage in Roberts Theater as the audience cracked their knuckles in nervous anticipation.
Kingswood Oxford’s annual Geography Bee was about to begin.
The Middle School has been participating in the Geography Bee for between thirty to forty years according to Mr. Krugman.
“My first year teaching was twenty-eight years ago and we were doing it then, so in terms of how long before that it couldn’t have been that much longer because I don’t remember them doing it when I was a student, and that was in 1980 so my guess is that we’ve been doing it somewhere between thirty and forty years,” he said.
Eighth-graders Eli Brandt, Zora DeRham, Jordan DiMauro, Ignacio Feged, Will Jacobs, Hana Roggendorf, and Theo Stephan, and sixth-grader Cameron Hart were the eight contestants.
They sat anxiously at a long table and responded to difficult questions drawing upon all their knowledge of geography. Each contestant was hoping to follow in last year’s champion’s footsteps, eighth-grader Theo Stephan.
According to Mr. Krugman, Theo qualified for the state competition and from what he understands, Theo correctly answered some tough questions.
This year Zora claimed the spot as the Geography Bee champion for Kingswood Oxford. “It was a rush of a lot of things,” Zora said. “I am pretty proud of myself for only getting one wrong.”
In order to move on to States after winning the school round, the winner has to take another test and the top hundred scores to move on.
The audience also enjoyed the Geography Bee even though they were not up on the stage. “I think it is essential for all students to watch because you learn something new every year just from watching it even if you don’t really make it on the stage,” eighth-grader Brady Nichols said who watched the Bee this year for the second time.
KO plans to continue participating in the National Geography Bee in the future. “As a school, we will keep registering for the Geography Bee because it is a great experience to have for the students,” Mr. Krugman said.