ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — May 4, 2007 — Two students from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools will participate in the National Geographic Bee that will be held in Washington, DC, May 22-23. The students, Andrew Hartford, an 8th grader at Lakenheath Middle School in the United Kingdom and Samuel Wolborsky, an 8th grader at Andersen Middle School in Guam, will join other state winners from across the United States for the competition.
The National Geographic Bee was first held in 1989 and since then millions of students have competed each year for a $25,000 college scholarship and the honor of being national champion. Principals of schools in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.,S. Virgin Islands, the Pacific Territories and the Department of Defense, with students in grades four through eight are eligible to register their schools to participate in a school-level bee. School-level bees are held November through January and state-level bees are held in March, with the winners going on to the national competition in May.
This year two DoDEA students will participate in the national competition. Hartford will represent the Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and because Andersen Middle School which is a DoDEA school in Guam, is located in the Pacific Territorites, Wolborsky will represent the Pacific Territories.
Hartford is the son of Lt. Col. Scott and Kim Hartford. Andrew has first-hand experience in world geography, having lived with his family in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Arkansas, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, and now England.
"The best part of living in England is that you're within easy reach of many famous landmarks and great cities," he said. "I think the best way to learn about geography is to actually visit the place so you can feel for yourself what it's like then it sticks with you forever," he added.
Hartford's Social Studies teacher, Dr. Harold Mills, has confidence and pride in Andrew.
"Andrew is a fantastic student and I know he will represent Lakenheath Middle School and DoDDS extremely well in the national competition," he said.
In his free time, Andrew likes to explore the area where he and his family live and participate in sports, especially basketball and football.
Wolborsky is the son of Col. (Retired) Stephen and Merry -Jane Wolborsky. He is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and took third place in the oral presentation category of the Department of Defense's Pacific Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium. He credits his experience as a military student for sparking his interest in geography.
"I think that travelling made me very intrigued about world geography," he said. I like to learn about countries, where they are and what their people are like."
In addition to being involved with the National Geographic Bee, and the Junior Honor Society, Wolborsky also took third place in the Scripps regional spelling bee and is an accomplished competitive runner, taking first through third place in various 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon competitions.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
For more information about the National Geographic Bee, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geographybee/