Knowing his continents, states, rivers and more geographical facts has earned eighth-grader Jesse Chalif the title of Middle School Geography Bee Champion. Jesse won the competition after beating out 25 of his peers, including several of his fellow eighth-graders. Seventh-grader James-Sebastian Darrah earned the second-place spot.

Jesse won the National Geographic Bee by remaining the last contestant standing after his competitors each answered their individual questions incorrectly. However, it took many rounds before those eliminations took place as each of the participants was well prepared.

Participants qualified for the schoolwide geography bee by winning smaller geography bees in their individual classrooms. Social studies coordinator David Ethé said the success of the geography bee is a testament to the hard work of the students and teachers. “The middle school social studies curriculum is challenging, yet our students are achieving at high levels and retaining the lesson objectives that they are taught.” He added that this friendly competition reinforces those lessons while also providing some informative fun.

Jesse will now move on the state level of the bee, which requires him to take a written exam.

Participants in the bee included eighth-graders Trinity Benstock, Theodore Burns, Jesse Chalif, Ryan Chen, Jaden Lachman, James Ryan, Joseph Siconolfi and Ethan Vitale; seventh-graders Joseph Borruso, James-Sebastian Darrah, Sophia Del Giudice, Olivia Dillon, Michelina Lombardi, Aidan Moran, Daniel Peterson and Leonard Rothkrug; and sixth-graders Juliet Alesi, Matthew Chalif, Michael DiLorenzo, Liam Grohman, Summer Lee, Gianna Lozano, Kelsey Neves, Kaila Van Cott and Hailey Wiedenkeller.

Congratulations to Jesse and all of the geography bee participants.