Andy (from left) (Ji-Hoon) Park, Sorin Bulgannawar and Maddy Swanson show their joy over their certificates of achievement.

Andy (from left) (Ji-Hoon) Park, Sorin Bulgannawar and Maddy Swanson show their joy over their certificates of achievement.

Way To Go

Mill Creek student advances

Student advances to state National Geographic GeoBee

The National Geographic GeoBee is a rigorous academic competition challenging students in grades four through eight to learn and apply geography concepts. Nationwide, nearly 10,000 schools competed, one of which was Mill Creek Elementary in the Everett School District.

Through a grant from the Everett Pubic Schools Foundation and the support of Principal Brenda Fuglevand, students in Emily Brunswick-Nelson’s classroom were able to purchase study resources and pay the entry fees for the competition.

The rigorous competition tests students’ knowledge of the United States as well as the world. Students compete in seven rounds of questions before moving to the semifinals.

At the classroom level, three students were selected as first, second and third place winners. Student Maddy Swanson said, “It was hard to answer seven rounds of questions, but I felt more relaxed as each round passed.” Swanson finished third in the classroom competition behind Andy Park, who finished second.

Placing first at the classroom level and first in the regional competition, Sorin Bulgannawar said, “I felt so happy, I could cry, and I did!” Student Sherry Zhu said that they were tears of joy. The competition takes months of preparation and studying both in and out of class for students to learn the materials necessary to be competitive.

“I am proud of the determination students show in learning the complex material over the few short months of preparation. The National Geographic GeoBee teaches students so much more than geography. Through the competition, students learn about persevering in difficult subjects, utilizing deductive reasoning skills and applying critical thinking when evaluating answers,” Brunswick-Nelson said.

Next, Bulgannawar will advance to the state competition March 27 to compete as one of the top 100 ranked students in Washington, which has been switched to an online format ensuring all qualifiers have a safe and fair opportunity.

The designated state champion from each state will advance to the National Championship and compete for cash awards and college scholarships.

Bulgannawar is nervous about the next step but he is most excited about the chance to compete nationally. His teacher and classmates will be cheering for him throughout the entire process.

Page Clara Nichols poses with Rep. Norma Smith.

Page Clara Nichols poses with Rep. Norma Smith.

Arlington student pages in House of Representatives

Clara Nichols, of Arlington, paged in the Washington State House of Representatives Feb. 10 through 14. The local student, who is homeschooled, was sponsored by 10th District Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton.

Clara got an up-close look at the Legislature during the fourth week of the 2020 legislative session. Her responsibilities included delivering messages and documents to state lawmakers in their offices, in committee meetings and on the floor of the House chamber. She also attended Legislative Page School every day.

“Clara is an absolutely delightful and extraordinarily intelligent young woman. A future leader,” Smith said. “I enjoyed learning more about her. Clara’s interests span across so many areas. I know that whatever she applies herself to, she will be very successful and make a difference.”

To serve as a page for the Washington State House of Representatives, a student is required to:

Have permission from a parent or guardian

Have permission from his or her current school in the current year

Be sponsored by a member of the Washington State House of Representatives

Be 14 to16 years old.

For more information about the House Page Program, go to: http://leg.wa.gov/House/Pages/HousePageProgram.aspx.

To learn more about the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Program, go to: http://leg.wa.gov/PageSchool/Pages/GinaGrantBull Scholarship.aspx

The 2020 legislative session ended March 12.

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