Ecker Hill Middle School student is reigning champion of Geography Bee

Will Smyth, a seventh-grader at Ecker Hill Middle School, has won the school's geography bee for the last two years. He has qualified for state for the last three years and is attending the competition this Friday.
Carolyn Webber/Park Record

Will Smyth grew up looking at a world map covering a wall in his home. He was partly dreaming of the places that he would travel one day, but also studying, which is probably why he is the reigning champion of the Ecker Hill Middle School Geography Bee.

The seventh-grader has won Ecker Hill’s bee for the last two years. Before taking first at Ecker Hill, he won the Jeremy Ranch Elementary School Bee. All three years, he has qualified with a test to go to the state competition. He is currently preparing for the state competition, which is scheduled to take place on Friday.

The Bee involves questions about the location of rivers, monuments and cities around the globe. He said that he studies by reading books, memorizing maps and doing daily quizzes, but he does not see it as work. He loves everything to do with geography.

While he has never left the U.S., he said that he has traveled all over the country. He has a long list of places that he wants to visit once he is able to.

Juleen Smith, a social studies teacher at Ecker Hill who helps run the school bee, said that it is impressive to have one student win multiple times at the school and make it to state. She said that Ecker Hill has students who are educated and well-traveled, so the bee is fairly competitive.

She is excited to see how far he can go.

Smyth attended the state bee the last two years and placed 13th out of 100 students last year. He hopes to make it into the top 10 this year. Next year will be his last eligible year to compete.

He is preparing by studying for one to two hours every day, he said.


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