Winners Advance in 1st ‘Citizen Bee’

Times Staff Writer

Students throughout the Southland distinguished themselves in the first round of California’s first Citizen Bee.

On March 4, 234 students from 86 high schools in Southern California fielded questions about American government, history, geography, economics and current events in regional playoffs of the Citizen Bee. Participants had previously won contests at their schools. The nationwide civics competition is organized by the Close Up Foundation of Washington, D.C.

First-place winners in the 11 regional competitions will proceed to a statewide contest, which will be held April 22 in Los Angeles. The three top state winners will compete with other state winners in the national competition in June in Washington, D.C.

Top regional winners took home a prize of $500. The state winner will win $1,000, plus a $2,500 scholarship. The three top finishers in the state will also receive all-expense-paid trips to Washington for the finals. The national winner will receive a $7,000 college scholarship.


The national Citizen Bee was established in 1985 by the Close Up Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes civic education. In California, the contest is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.

Winning Questions

Local winners and the winning questions they answered included:

Region D, including Pasadena, Glendale, San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles schools. Question: “Give the full name of the person who was vice president to Gerald Ford.” Answer: Nelson A. Rockefeller. First: Jonathan Giron, 12th grade, Eagle Rock High, Brent Beaty, teacher. Second: Tony Chan, 11th grade, San Gabriel High, Los Angeles, Ben Molnar, teacher. Third: Dennis Derecho, 12th grade, Franklin High, Los Angeles, Sharon Bergh, teacher.


Region C, including Westside and San Fernando Valley schools. The question: “What term do demographers use to describe the degree to which a particular population continues to reside in one place over a period of time?” Answer: Population persistence. First: Miguel Olano, ninth grade, Walter Reed Junior High, North Hollywood, Paul W. Mertens, teacher. Second: Peter Aronson, 12th grade, Beverly Hills High, Stewart Horowitz, teacher. Third: Arun Srinivasan, 12th grade, Hollywood High, Paul Johnson, teacher.

Regions E, F

Region E, including Westside and South Bay schools. The question: “The prime minister of Great Britain attended a memorial service for the victims of Pan Am flight 103. What is her last name?” Answer: (Margaret) Thatcher. First: Pedro Cardenas, 12th grade, Garfield High, Los Angeles, John Bennett, teacher. Second: Philip Strubbe, 12th grade, South Bay Lutheran High, Inglewood, Mark Tornow, teacher. Third: Bryan Goldberg, 12th grade, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, Marion Wong, teacher.

Region F, including San Gabriel Valley and Southeast schools. Question: “The movie ‘Mississippi Burning’ is a fictional account of the murder of three men who were concerned about what issue in the 1960s?” Answer: Race relations/civil rights (equality among races or voting rights or segregation). First: Robert Ashley, 12th grade, Glendora High, Judith Waggoner, teacher. Second: David Lee, 11th grade, Diamond Bar High, Jack Moore, teacher. Third: Robert West, 10th grade, Monrovia High, Marjorie Thomas, teacher.