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Kilimanjaro's the ticket to Geo Bee win


Hoy wins at Burgess on global knowledge



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Josh Hoy, right, accepts his first-place certificate from Burgess Assistant Principal Jack Canavan after winning the school’s Geography Bee Thursday, Dec. 16. His knowledge of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro was a key to the victory. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
December 19, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Do you know that Mount Kilimanjaro boasts the highest peak in Africa and is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world? Burgess Elementary School sixth-grader Josh Hoy knows that fact, along with a great deal of information about state capitals and foreign countries, as he won his school's annual Geography Bee on Thursday afternoon.

Hoy, from the school's J20 homeroom, competed with 11 other fifth- and sixth-grade students in the cafeteria before a large crowd of teachers, classmates, and parents. Each participant represented his or her homeroom after emerging from preliminary competitions within the individual classrooms.

"In some of the classrooms there were multiple rounds of questions needed to produce a winner," said Assistant Principal Jack Canavan, who asked the questions during the bee.

The first round of the bee featured oral responses, and students who answered two questions incorrectly were eliminated from the competition. All of the questions were provided by the National Geographic Society, which sponsors the annual National Geography Bee in Washington D.C.

The second phase of the opening round narrowed the participants to three, as students were required to answer difficult questions pertaining to longitude and latitude after briefly reviewing a map. By the time this phase was complete, only three competitors remained on the stage: sixth-graders Josh Hoy and Jack Bouhanna and fifth grader Carrie Nollstadt.

Hoy and Nollstadt prevailed through additional questioning, setting up a championship round during which both participants were asked to write down the answers to three difficult world geography questions. Hoy wound up edging out Nollstadt by a 2-1 margin to secure his first Geography Bee title.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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