Friday, February 4, 2011

The Bees

So, it's that time of year, again, when we recognize some of Woodglen's best and brightest.  Each year, our school participates in two national academic competitions - The National Geographic Geography Bee and the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  You probably haven't seen the geography bee on television, but I'm sure you've seen the Scripps Bee either on television or in the movies.  What you may not have known, however, is that both of these competitions begin at the local level in school-wide "bees" throughout the United States.

This year, we are proud to announce that eighth grader, Brett Dufford was the winner of the Woodglen Geography Bee.  The runner-up was sixth grader, Carsten Janes.  Winning the local bee is not easy.  The questions deal with both United States and world geography.  Students are expected to know about landforms, boundary lines, natural resources, goods produced and culture. 

We are also proud to announce that seventh grader, Josh Myers was the winner of the Woodglen Spelling Bee.  The runner-up was eighth grader, Eric Pecina.  While most of us don't remember what we did before "spell check,"  these young people demonstrated the ability to spell some common and many not-so-common words.

Want to win the geography bee?  You'd better know the European country where regional dialects Catalan, Valencian and Galician are spoken (Spain).  You should know which east African country was subject to water rationing due to the rapid growth of Nairobi (Kenya).  You might want to know the state where you would find Davenport, a railroad and commercial center across the Mississippi River from Rock Island, Illinois (Iowa).

Have hopes of being the next Akeelah, of Akeelah and the Bee fame?  You should brush up on your words of Latin origin like obsequious (exhibiting fawning attentiveness) and triumvirate (a group or association of three), your words of German origin like kuchen (a variety of coffee cakes made of sweet yeast dough) and inselberg (an isolated mountain) and your words of Italian origin like adagio (a slow tempo) and fantoccini (a puppet show using puppets operated by strings or mechanical devices). 

Both of our champions will be moving on the the next level.  Brett will take the New Jersey state qualifying exam in hopes of earning a spot in the finals of the state-wide bee, where the winner moves on to Washington, DC.  Josh will be competing in the regional bee, held in Pennsylvania, where he could earn a trip to the national competition in Washington, DC with a victory.

Special thanks goes out to Mrs. Jessica Miller, our sixth grade social studies teacher, for all of her hard work in orgainizing the geography bee and to Mr. James Peralta, enrichment specialist, for his efforts in implementing the spelling bee.
We wish both of these young men the best of luck.  They are already winners and we are already very proud of their accomplishments.

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