ECS student earns spot in National Geographic Bee


Simeon Betapudi, a 7th-grader at Evangelical Christian School, recently won the Tennessee National Geographic State Bee. This accomplishment qualified him to represent Tennessee in the national bee that took place May 14-17 at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Although Betapudi didn’t make it to the finals in this week’s national competition, his first-place achievement among Tennessee students earned him $5,000 in addition to the prizes provided by the National Geographic Society.

Unique to Tennessee for the second year, Jenny and Randy Boyd have created an endowed scholarship through the Tennessee Geographic Alliance to be awarded to the top three finalists for their future college funds. As the state’s first-place winner, Betapudi received $5,000 in addition to the prizes provided by the National Geographic Society. The Boyds’ donation also offered the second-place winner, Parwan Machingal, $3,000, and the third-place winner, Jacob Williams, received $2,000.

Read  on the National Geographic website about the 14-year-old Texas student, Pranay Varada, who took top honors in the U.S. for 2017. As the national champion, Varada took home a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society (including a magazine subscription) and an all-expenses-paid Linblad expedition to the Galapagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour II.