The first round of a competition that might take the winner all the way to Washington D.C. was held Friday afternoon at Lewisburg Middle School.
Ivy Donley was the winner of LMS's seventh National Geographic Bee. She received a $100 savings bond, compliments of First Commerce Bank.
The next step is a written test to qualify Donley for the state bee to be held in April.
In the preceding six years of holding the Geographic Bee, LMS has sent four contestants to state.
"This by far the best bee we've ever had," said professor Aubrey Flagg of Columbia State Community College, the official judge. "They did a terrific job."
Flagg is a big fan of LMS and Marshall County.
"I love this school," he said in his opening remarks. "This is my pet school."
Melanie Wiles, geography teacher, was the moderator, while teachers Janet Bowden kept the time and Suzanne Lynn kept the score.
Seven contestants took seats on the stage: Caleb Cashion, Donley, Carlee Holt, Callie Johnson, Brett Poarch, Tiffany Stanford, and Tygr Taylor. Nervous mistakes with the opening rounds of questions quickly reduced the field to three: Taylor, Donley, and Johnson. Taylor finished third, and received a $50 savings bond, but the questions for Donley and Johnson went on and on, stumping most of the students and adults in the audience.