Crown Point boy wins state geography bee
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent April 5, 2014 7:08PM
Sean Ives | Sun-Times Media file
Updated: May 8, 2014 9:58AM
CROWN POINT — Sean Ives is double-dipping.
The student from Trinity Lutheran School in Crown Point on Friday claimed top honors at the 2014 Indiana State Geography Bee at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, besting 99 other fourth- through eighth-graders in the state and earning him a berth in the finals at the National Geographic Society headquarters May 19-21 in Washington, D.C.
The win comes on the heels of his March success at the Kankakee Valley REMC Final Spelling Bee, the regional competition for students in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties. Sean, 14, won the spelling bee and will advance to represent Indiana in the Scripps Spelling Bee Nationals May 27-29 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., just outside of Washington.
“It’s quite special. It’s hard to do that. To do it back to back is a lot of hard work. It’s not just something you wake up and do,” mom Jodi Ives said Saturday.
She said her son’s accomplishment comes with a lot of hard work, dedication and time. Sean studies and quizzes with his mom daily.
“He loves it. He’s pretty excited. For him personally, he wanted to repeat. He has just been studying so hard,” she said.
“I really enjoyed the nationals last year so it feels great,” Sean said. “I really wanted to do it, so I worked for it.”
Sean, who describes himself as a visual learner, said his mom has also helped him with some study tricks, getting him to write down his wrong answers and misspelled words to help learn them.
Having won last year, he knew what to expect going into this year’s competition, he said.
“It was more pressure on me. I knew I had to have a perfect score in the preliminaries. I knew I could miss no more than one (question) in the finals,” he said.
That same pressure will follow him to nationals in both the competitions. Sean is hoping to improve on his performance in both events during what will be a two-week stay in the nation’s capital for the back-to-back competitions.
“I like the competition,” said Sean, who is also a member of the school’s basketball team.
In 2013 Sean was able to make it to the top 20 in the geography bee, but missed a second question in a tiebreaker and was eliminated. At the spelling bee, he spelled all his words right, but had a little trouble with the grammar-testing portion of the national bee and failed to advance to the second round.
“I’d like to be in the top 10 in the geography bee and the top 50 for the spelling bee,” Sean said.