Apollo student shows geography supremacy
January 14, 2014
By Christina Corrales-Toy
It’s been a while since Apollo Elementary School held a geography bee, but when the competition was revived Jan. 10, it was almost as if it had never stopped.
The school’s fourth- and fifth-grade contestants didn’t skip a beat when it came to testing their geography knowledge, making for a rather competitive scene.
“I thought it was great,” said Jessica Ferranti, a fifth-grade teacher and the bee’s coordinator. “It was really fun, and it was great to see the audience so engaged. I think the kids learned a lot about geography.”
The contest’s 10 finalists gathered in the school library in front of an audience of their classmates, parents and a distinguished guest in Issaquah City Councilwoman Mary Lou Pauly, who was a judge.
It was fifth-grader Ishaan Sharma who ultimately bested his nine classmates, successfully answering questions taken directly from the National Geographic Society.
“I studied almost every day,” Ishaan said of his preparation. “I just studied sort of general knowledge about geography.”
He and fourth-grader Sanjana Addanki made it to the final round. Ishaan captured the crown by answering two of three questions correctly, compared to Sanjana’s one correct answer.
“Sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was easier, but I just had to keep studying,” Ishaan said. “I feel like all my work actually paid off.”
Apollo Principal Susan Mundell moderated the event, telling her students “this is an opportunity for all of us to learn.”
Ferranti, with the help of Apollo parent Stina Fluegge, decided to revive the competition, since her class was studying U.S. geography, and was excited about the prospect of putting what they learned to the test.
After witnessing the Jan. 10 contest, both Ferranti and Mundell agreed they plan to continue holding a school geography bee.
Ishaan will now have an opportunity to take a written test, with a chance to qualify for the state championship.
The other competitors were Madeline Hanify, Sasha Reevosh, Michael Sherwood, Victor Nguyen, Pranav Nair, Reese Mills, Phillip Pham and Matthew Kim.