Pender is a three-time champion for Darlington’s Lower School, having also earned the title in 2008 and 2009. As winner, he will advance to the next level of competition, a written examination, to determine state competitors.
All school winners are eligible to compete in the national championship in Washington, D.C. This prestigious competition awards a $25,000 college scholarship to the winner.
Pender is the son of Debi and Mike Pender of Rome. Other students placing in the competition included fourth-grader Rhett McDurmon in second place and sixth-grader Henry Fields as runner up.
This year marks the 23rd year of National Geographic Bee competitions for students in grades 4-8 in the United States, the five U.S. territories, as well as in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world. The 2011 Bee is sponsored by Google.