Credit: Credit: Charlottesville City Schools

Qualifying for the state competition for a third straight year, Buford Middle School eighth-grader Reece McKee placed 3rd in the state at the Virginia National Geographic Bee on Friday, March 31. Aidan Peters, a sixth-grader at Walker Upper Elementary School, also qualified to compete in the state competition. 

“Just qualifying for the state competition is a real accomplishment,” noted Superintendent Rosa Atkins. “We are proud of both boys for representing us so well. And we extend our heartiest congratulations to Reece for his outstanding performance!” 

The National Geographic Bee competition is now in its 29th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State Bees. State champions will move on to the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 14-17, 2017. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all expenses paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Visit for more information on the National Geographic Bee. 

The National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the 2017 National Geographic Bee Championship, moderated by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca, on Friday, May 19, at 8 p.m. ET.