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The 2019 BCS Geography Bee
The 2019 BCS Geography Bee
Posted on 02/16/2019
Fourth- and fifth-graders put their geography skills to the test in this year's Geography Bee!By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Dept.

"The Winter Palace, completed in 1762 and first occupied by Catherine the Great, can be found in St. Petersburg in what country?"

If you can answer the question above, you might have what it takes to win the Buncombe County Schools Geography Bee. In fact, this was the final question in the February 11 competition that gave Allie Russell of C.C. Bell Elementary and Maggie Pulver of W.W. Estes Elementary the first place win!

(The correct answer given, by the way, was Russia.)

The Bee was held at the BCS Central Office and used a format similar to that used by the National Geographic Society. Fourth- and fifth-graders from Oakley Elementary, Charles C. Bell Elementary, and W.W. Estes Elementary competed as the culmination of their after-school Geography Clubs that started last fall.

Allie Russell holds her Geography Bee medal.This year, teachers Mr. Schmidt and Ms. Donalyn Small added a twist: teams! Students were assigned a random partner from another school to form a team.

“The students were excellent!” said Mr. Chris Schmidt, gifted education specialist at Bell and Oakley. “They worked well with a partner they didn’t know, came to club each week, tried hard, and made it fun.”

The first of three rounds gave teams seven questions on topics including states, landforms, national parks, countries, culture, science, and continents. The second double-elimination round knocked out all but three teams as students worked to interpret maps and answer tough questions. In the final round, the remaining teams received identical questions to determine the ultimate rankings.

Schmidt hopes next year’s Geography Bee will involve even more schools, and was grateful for the many parents and staff who came together to make this year’s event a success.

Congratulations to all students who worked hard to prepare and compete in the 2019 Geography Bee!


First Place:
Allie Russell (C.C. Bell Elementary, Maggie Pulver (W.W. Estes Elementary)

Second Place:
Ella Miles-Peart (Oakley Elementary), Coleman Hooper (W. W. Estes Elementary)

Third Place:
Liam Watson (Oakley Elementary), Edward Warburton (W. W. Estes Elementary)

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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