First Bell: Follow National Geographic Bee on Twitter; competitor will see LHS alum on stage; French students make top 10 on national exam

A few notes and items regarding education in the area:

The television coverage won’t come for another few weeks, but folks won’t have to wait to follow the progress of Lawrence’s Stefan Petrovic during today’s finals of the National Geographic Bee finals.

Officials will be providing live updates on Twitter, under the #geobee hashtag.

Petrovic, who finished fourth last year, made it into today’s finals by correctly answering a tough tiebreaker:

Q.: Annam and Cochin China are historic regions of what present-day country?

A. Vietnam.

Come to think of it, I’d be fortunate to be able to pronounce the question, let alone come up with the correct answer.

Good luck to Stefan, who will be an eighth-grader next year at South Middle School…


Stefan looks to have some additional support in the audience, and I’m not just talking about his family.

Try a Chesty Lion.

That would be Brian McClendon, who grew up in Lawrence and attended Lawrence High School before moving on to Kansas University and a career with what is now Google Earth. McClendon is a Google vice president.

Today’s plan is to interview McClendon, who is attending the bee and will provide opening remarks for the final round. Google is a sponsor for the event.


More national success in education stretching beyond our national boundaries comes from French students at Lawrence High.

French teacher Megan Hurt reports that Level 1-4 French students excelled on a national French exam: the Le Concours National, administered by the American Association of Teachers of French.

Three students rated as national winners, with rankings in the top 10:

• Anya Karnysheva, second for Level 2.

• Julia Drahozal, ninth for Level 2.

• Jenny Xu, 10th for Level 4.

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