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Idaho Voices

Young students will compete in state geography bee

Sun., March 29, 2009

Five students from the Coeur d’Alene School District have been invited to compete in the 2009 Idaho Geographic Bee Friday at Boise State University. The students will be among 100 elementary and middle-school-age kids who qualified to be in the contest.

Max McSwain, a fourth-grader from Borah Elementary, Connor Robertson, a fifth-grader from Fernan Elementary, Sarah Klader, a fifth-grader from Hayden Meadows Elementary, sixth-grader James Soderling from Canfield Middle School, and Clayton Gersten, an eighth-grader from Lakes Middle School, first competed at the school level, and then took a test which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The top 100 scorers are now on their way to Boise.

The state winner will be awarded $100, the National Geographic Collegiate Atlas of the World, and a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national competition. The national winner will receive a $25,000 college scholarship, among other prizes.

LCHS debaters win district tournament

The Lake City High School debate team recently won overall at the Inland Empire National Forensic district tournament in Spokane.

Ten of the team’s 26 members qualified for nationals in the tournament. The teams are: Rachel Raeon and Rebecca Tutcher, and Jackson Eubanks and Tyler Powers, for duo interpretation; and individuals Ross Miewald and Nick Kuisti, humorous interpretation, Devin Walker and Justin Petersen, dramatic interpretation, Julianna Stratton, U.S. extemporaneous, and Matt Hall, Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Walker later qualified in Student Congress at another debate meet. He will compete in that category at the national level, instead of dramatic interpretation.

According to a press release from Coeur d’Alene School District, debate teacher Kara Smith views it as a school subject, rather than an extracurricular activity. “We really instill this into the school,” she said.

Debate is a commitment to the students. They discover that it builds skills and provides them with opportunities such as scholarships and more that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, according to the press release.

Rainey Coffin can be reached at (509) 927-2166 or via e-mail at

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