Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Students Showcase Talents in Spelling, Geography, Faith Bees and Forensics Tournament

Several hundred students demonstrated their knowledge, faith and talents across four competitions for middle school students at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg in March and April.

“Bee season,” as it is affectionately known, kicked off with the Spelling Bee hosted by the Office for Catholic Schools on March 6. More than 30 super spellers represented their school in the competition, mastering words like “colonel,” “corps” and “rhythm.” This year’s winner was Luca Jbarah, center, of St. Joseph School in Hanover. Aarav Garg, left, of St. Joseph School in Mechanicsburg, finished in second place, and Alice Amadure, right, of St. Patrick School in Carlisle in Carlisle, finished third.

Do you know the capital of Bolivia, Easter Island and the city-state of Tenochtitlan? The finalists in the March 20 Geography Bee do! The gold medalist in the competition was Parker Kovach, center, of York Catholic Middle School. The runner-up was Barrett Smolenak, left, of St. Joseph School in Danville. The third place finisher was Jackson McDowell, right, of Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Lancaster. Officials say it was the longest Geography Bee in Diocesan history.

The Catholic Faith Bee, presented by the Office of Catechesis on April 10, challenged students with questions ranging from the evangelical councils and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to naming the 27 books of the New Testament and the 12 Bishops of the Diocese of Harrisburg. This year’s Faith Bee lasted more than four hours and included long-form and written responses to questions. The grand champion was Sofia Quianzon, center, of Holy Spirit Parish in Palmyra and St. Joan of Arc School in Hershey. First runner-up was Aldin Binoy, left, of St. Leo the Great Parish and School in Lancaster. Second runner-up was Ulises Kullick, right, of St. Joseph Parish in Mechanicsburg.

The Forensics Tournament wrapped up the competition season on April 24. More than 80 students from 11 schools demonstrated their public-speaking skills persuasive, interpretive and dramatic presentations. The gold medalists, after judges’ scoring, are Amanda Babuscak and Kiera Harvey, left, of St. Margaret Mary School in Harrisburg for their Duo Dramatic Interpretation, “Abbott & Costello”; Jackson Shienvold, center, of Holy Name of Jesus School in Harrisburg for his Persuasive Interpretation, “The Book Thief;” and Sophia Nunez Garcia, right, of St. Joan of Arc School in Hershey for her Oral Interpretation, “Frederick Douglass’ 5th of July Speech.”

Learn more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg at www.GoCatholicSchools.org.

(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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