Irving Eighth-grader Heads to National Geographic Championship — Again

BEDFORD — Pranay Varada rarely hesitated. The eighth-grader at DeWitt Middle School in Carrollton knows his geography. For the second year in a row, Pranay won the Texas Geographic Bee. Next, the 14-year-old from Irving will head to Washington, D.C., in May to compete in the National Geographic Championship. He made it to the top 10 in the nation in 2016 and ended up finishing sixth. "It was amazing," Pranay said of the Texas bee. "The best part was meeting all the other kids."This year, victory proved harder. The two other finalists, Tanay Mannikar of Sugar Land and Dhruv Nistala of Austin, also had their facts down. The three went through all the regular bee questions, requiring use of tie-breaker questions. "We sure wish we could send more to the championship," said Marci Smith Deal, whose Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD hosts the bee. Deal is the bee coordinator. Texas State Board of Education member Pat Hardy posed the questions. "This is the best bee in the nation," Hardy said. "Marci and her staff do such a great job, and these kids are so talented."  Continue reading...

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