Livingstone Eighth-grader Places 11th in Oregon Geography Contest

July 01, 2012 | Lorin Koch

A geography question: What is Zambia?

That’s the country that borders both Victoria Falls and Lake Tanganyika.

How about Salem, Ore.?

That’s the hometown of Andrew Tucker, an eighth-grader from Livingstone Adventist Academy who placed 11th in Oregon’s state division of the National Geographic Bee.

A stellar group of 100 middle schoolers from all over Oregon congregated in Monmouth, Ore., March 31 on the campus of Western Oregon University. These students were the state’s highest scorers on a geographic test given by National Geographic. These students represented the top 100 school champions across the state. Among them was Tucker, who was excited to participate in the event.

Tucker enjoys studying history and says he especially likes geography for "how the lay of the land affects events." He is the only Livingstone student in recent memory to make it to the state level, and 11th place was a strong result. He was warmly congratulated by Livingstone students and teachers the next week, as well as the following Sabbath during the church-life portion of the service at East Salem Church, where Tucker’s family attends.

"I am so proud of Andrew," says Sharon Cutz, eighth-grade teacher. "To win 11th place in the entire state of Oregon is quite an accomplishment! It's been a pleasure having him in my class this year."

In the preliminary round, Tucker was one of the 20 students who got every question correct. He only missed placing in the final on a lengthy tie-break procedure.

With a strong result, despite just missing the final round, Tucker says he enjoyed being involved. "It was an interesting experience, and I was happy to see the other people succeed," he says.