SPARTA, NJ – Sparta Middle School student Kiran Duggirala will be representing his school as a semifinalists at the New Jersey National Geographic State [Geography] Bee according to his “very proud” teacher Cherie Shefferman.  Duggirala will be competing at Rowan University on Friday, March 31.

The initial, first round  was held in local schools with fourth through eighth grade students throughout the state.  At Sparta Middle School, Shefferman’s S.T.E.P. students competed in a school bee.  The top ten finalists from that competition were

  • Aine Byrne,
  • Sarah Bargfrede,
  • Jack Budofsky,
  • Kaela Burke,
  • Kiran Duggirala,
  • Lucas Rendina,
  •  Andrew Stefancik,
  • Dekrut Totshev,
  • Nick Ventresca,
  • Claire Xue.

Ventresca and Burke tied for third place.  Stefancik took second and Duggirala finished first.

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As the school champion, Duggirala took a qualifying test that was then submitted to the National Geographic Society.  They have invited up to 100 of the top scoring students in each state and the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and US Territories, according their publicity.

The winner at the state level will receive $100, National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World and a trip to Washington, D. C. to represent their state.  The national competition will take place at the National Geographic Society headquarters May 14-17 this year.

The National winner earns a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society and an all-expense paid Linblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II.

The finals will be aired in the National Geographic channel and Nat Geo Wild channels on Friday, May 19 at 8 p.m.