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Woodland Middle School Student Returning to State Geography Contest for Third Try

A Woodland Middle School eighth grader achieved a three-peat, winning the school geography title on January 29, which means he can advance a third time to compete at the state level for the National Geographic Bee.

Kenith Taukolo is the first Woodland student with three consecutive school wins and three consecutive opportunities at the state level. As a sixth grader, he scored a perfect 8 of 8 in the preliminary round at the state competition before placing 17th overall. As a seventh grader, he scored 6 out of 8 in the first round, but it was not enough for him to advance to the national competition.

The second place student in this year’s Woodland Middle School competition was Nihar Kiran Kumar.

The school champion takes a proctored online qualifying test and the top 100 ranked students in each state qualify to represent their school at the state level GeoBee competition. State champions then travel in May to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to compete in the national championship. The National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington D.C. provides transportation and accommodations for each state champion and one parent/guardian.

“The geography competition allows students like Kenith to learn about conservation, preservation, history and science as well as geographical maps, said Don Proft, a Middle School social studies instructor who has taught Kenth and works with social studies instructor Paul Durietz to organize the school geography contest. “Kenith continues to demonstrate not only his knowledge of geography, but also his tenacity to compete.”
The winner at the national level receives a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime subscription to National Geographic magazine, a trip to the Galapagos Islands, and $1,000. The 2nd place winner receives a $10,000 scholarship and $1,000. The third place winner receives a $5,000 scholarship and $1,000. Seven runners-up receive $1,000 each.