Hilliard Northwest News

Memorial Middle School

Dad's history lessons pay off for Citizenship Bee winner

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Hilliard Memorial Middle School eighth-graders (from left) Jackson Wagner, Jennifer Morrison and Courtney Bockbrader finished first, second and third, respectively, in the school's 2014 Citizenship Bee. Social studies teacher Mark VanKirk (far left) served as proctor of the contest.

Three students from Hilliard Memorial Middle School recently earned cash prizes for their knowledge of American civics.

The students were participants in Memorial's annual Citizenship Bee.

Eighth-grader Jackson Wagner won the contest and claimed a $100 cash prize. He correctly answered the final question, that the United States Supreme Court settled any disputes among the states, which could include extraditions or, in the country's early history, land disputes.

"My dad talks a lot about history so that got me interested in history, too," Wagner said.

Eighth-graders Jennifer Morrison and Courtney Bockbrader finished second and third, respectively.

Morrison won $75 and Bockbrader $50.

Morrison said she reads historical fiction and enjoys studying the facts of historical eras to compare to the books she reads.

Bockbrader said she is gaining interest in law from her mother, an attorney.

Twenty-nine students competed in the Citizenship Bee, which was open to 30 students.

All 823 students at Memorial Middle School took a test to determine eligibility for the contest. Students with the top 30 scores could participate.

"It's a fun event that is also educational," said Mark VanKirk, a social studies teacher at Memorial who also served as proctor of the contest.

All students competing in the Citizenship Bee received a certificate and a gift card from Target provided by Memorial's parent-teacher organization, VanKirk said.

The social studies department at Heritage Middle School founded the Citizenship Bee in 1998. When those faculty members moved to Memorial several years later, they took the contest with them.