Mr. Papahronis Goes to Washington

Representing Oklahoma in the National Geographic Bee next month will be Edmond seventh grader Ari Papahronis. But before the Sequoyah Middle School student sets off for the Nation’s Capitol, he made a stop at the State Capitol.

Tuesday, April 3, Ari and First and Second Runners-up in the Oklahoma National Geographic Geography Bee were recognized and honored in the state House of Representatives, and by Governor Mary Fallin.

On March 30, about 100 fourth to eighth graders in each of the 50 states, D.C., U.S. territories and Department of Defense Dependents Schools faced off during the National Geographic state level bees. The Oklahoma Bee was held in the Memorial Union on the University of Oklahoma Campus.

Mr. Papahronis, First Runner-up Kellie Dick, a seventh-grade student from Grove School in Shawnee and Second Runner-up Benjamin Bottger, a sixth-grader from Edmond Home Educators all received proclamations from their state Representatives (Kris Steele of Shawnee for Kellie, Lewis Moore of Arcadia for Ari, Guy Liebmann of Oklahoma City for Bottger).

Since the first National Geographic Bee in 1989, millions of students have competed each year for a U.S. $25,000 college scholarship and the honor of being national champion.

The champions have come from diverse backgrounds—ranging from large cities to family farms. They have had varied interests and today are pursuing different educational paths. Among their shared characteristics are the desire to excel and an inherent curiosity about geography and the world around them.

The 54 winners will be competing at the May 22-24 championship in Washington, D.C.