First photo, from left: Shaylin Murphy, Eisenhower Elementary; Tim Puruckherr, Felida Elementary; Matthew McRae, Felida; Josh Wuethrich, Eisenhower; Andrew Douglas, Jason Lee Middle School; and Allison Underland, Gaiser Middle School. Second photo: Douglas with his silver Citizenship Bee medal. Third photo: Murphy, McRae, Wuethrich, Douglas and Underland. Not pictured: Jo’siah Osburn, Walnut Grove Elementary. Photos courtesy of Michael Puruckherr, Dave Douglas and Madonna Underland.

Eighth-grader Andrew Douglas receives silver medal

Seven students who earned top-eight spots in the regional History Bee traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, in early June for the national championships. VPS was represented in the elementary (fourth to sixth grade), seventh-grade and eighth-grade divisions. Approximately 350 student competitors from across the country competed in each division.

Jo’siah Osburn from Walnut Grove Elementary, Shaylin Murphy and Josh Wuethrich from Eisenhower Elementary, Matthew McRae and Tim Puruckherr from Felida Elementary, Andrew Douglas from Jason Lee Middle School and Allison Underland from Gaiser Middle School each participated in four oral buzzer rounds and one written round. For all but Douglas, it was their first trip to the National History Bee.

Douglas was one of 64 students to advance to the quarterfinals, earning a medal in the process. He also claimed a silver medal in a separate competition, the Citizenship Bee.

The eighth-grader has amassed an impressive record. Douglas was the 2014 runner-up in the history competition. In 2015, he won the Citizenship Bee and was fifth in the History Bee. Douglas again was a History Bee finalist in 2016, as well as second overall in the Citizenship Bee.

Questions in the National History Bee are designed for fourth- through eighth-graders and test knowledge of both U.S. and other countries’ history. The Citizenship Bee includes questions about history, in addition to testing students’ knowledge of American government, geography, civics and culture.

The regional competition and students’ participation in the national contests were coordinated by Dave Douglas, a history teacher at Columbia River High School.