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Fifth-Grader At Sacred Heart Greenwich Advances In Geography Bee

From left to right: Vanessa Torres, Libby Kaseta, Christine Plaster, Charlotte Marvin, Daniella Tocco, Elie Skinner and Kasey Calacci. Belle Broll is not in the photo.
From left to right: Vanessa Torres, Libby Kaseta, Christine Plaster, Charlotte Marvin, Daniella Tocco, Elie Skinner and Kasey Calacci. Belle Broll is not in the photo. Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Vanessa Torres, a fifth grade student at Sacred Heart Greenwich, was selected as the school's National Geographic Bee champion and is advancing to the next level, the Connecticut State Bee on April 1.

To achieve this recognition, Torres, who loves geography, entered into a contest against finalists at Sacred Heart’s Middle School and emerged as the winner. She then passed the state bee’s qualifying test.

The following eight students competed in elimination rounds before Middle School assemblies:

  • Fifth grade - Kasey Calacci and Vanessa Torres
  • Sixth grade - Libby Kaseta and Charlotte Marvin
  • Seventh grade - Belle Broll and Ellie Skinner
  • Eighth grade - Christine Plaster and Daniella Tocco.

“The finals with the eight students were quite competitive,” said history teacher Samantha McCoy, who coordinated the bee. Sixth-grader Libby Kaseta finished in second place. Kaseta and Torres competed on a series of tiebreaker questions before Torres won by correctly answering the following question: “Africa's most industrialized country is bordered by both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Name this country."

The answer: South Africa.

“The contest is designed to inspire students to be curious about the world,” said David Olson, head of the middle school. “We are very proud of Vanessa’s accomplishments.”

To qualify for the state competition on April 1, Torres took a test designed by the National Geographic Society. She was recently notified that she had passed the test and was selected as a contestant for the Connecticut Bee.

One champion from each state and territory will advance to the national competition, which will be held May 22 to 25 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. Transportation and accommodations for the Washington, D.C. trip are provided for each state champion. Sacred Heart is an all girls’ independent school for grades kindergarten through 12th grade with a coed early childhood program, located at 1177 King Street in Greenwich. For information, visit their website.

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