Carroll wins school geography bee

By Sarah E. Reynolds | Dec 16, 2013
Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds Eighth-grader Annalee Carroll, right, holds up her certificate after winning the National Geographic Bee at Appleton Village School Dec. 13. With her is runner-up Lexi Smith, a seventh-grade student.

Appleton — Eighth-grader Annalee Carroll won the National Geographic Bee at Appleton Village School Friday, Dec. 13, and the right to take a qualifying test for the state level of the competition.

The runner-up in the contest, which included two students each from grades 4 through 8 selected through in-class competitions, was Lexi Smith, a seventh-grader.

The moderator for the bee was Principal Gary Bosk, who welcomed all in attendance and explained the rules. First each contestant was asked to answer a question orally. Students were asked things like which state Atlantic City is in, which state began as a Quaker settlement, and what state is home to Big Bend National Park.

Next, all the contestants had to write down an answer to one question, read twice by Bosk. Only sixth-grader Ben Owre knew the river the Hoover Dam is on: the Colorado.

There followed a round where students had a short time to study copies of a map passed out by Bosk. They were then allowed to look at the map only while answering their own question. All of these questions concerned fresh water withdrawals.

Following this round, two students were asked to sit down in the audience, because they had reached their limit of two incorrect answers.

The next round again asked for written answers to a single question about which ocean Polynesia is in. (It's the Pacific.) The question proved challenging, as five more students had to sit down after answering.

When Owre foundered on a question about which state Lake Winnipesaukee is in, the first part of the competition was over.

Carroll and Smith faced off for the championship, a series of three questions, with the one who got the most right answers being declared the winner. Unlike the first part of the contest, no passing of questions was allowed for this round. All answers were written.

The first question was a cream puff for Mainers: in what state is the city of Portland on Casco Bay? Both answered correctly.

The second was more challenging. It asked into what bay the Potomac River empties (the Chesapeake), and both girls had blank paper when time was called.

The final question was more challenging still: “The Taklimakan Desert, home to the Uyghur people, is north of the Kunlun Mountains in which Asian country?”

Again, Smith came up blank. Carroll, however, answered correctly: China, to the applause of students and teachers.

Besides Carroll, the competitors were fourth-graders Christopher Cammelieri and Joseph Coffey; fifth-graders Elias Porter and Ethan Cleaveland; sixth-graders Ben Owre and Max McKenna; seventh-graders Dakota Deane and Smith; and eigth-grader Isaac Keiran.

The annual competition is organized by fifth-grade teacher Tammy King. After the state contest, there is a national level where prizes are awarded, and an international level. For information, visit

Appleton Village School Principal Gary Bosk reads the rules before the start of the National Geographic Bee Friday, Dec. 13. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Seventh-graders Dakota Deane, left, and Lexi Smith consider their answers to one of the written questions during the geography bee at Appleton Village School Friday, Dec. 13. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Ethan Cleaveland, a fifth-grade student, celebrates a correct answer during the National Geographic Bee at Appleton Village School Friday, Dec. 13. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
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Sarah Reynolds
Sarah E. Reynolds is a reporter for the Camden Herald.
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Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, hike and play word games.

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