Resolution Honoring the National Geographic GeoBee Winner

WHEREAS knowledge of the world and the ability to express oneself are important skills for a well-educated person; and

WHEREAS, Nihar Janga, a ninth-grade student at Vandegrift High School in the Leander Independent School District, developed a love for spelling and geography at an early age; and

WHEREAS last May, at the age of 14, Nihar Janga became the first student to win both the National Geographic GeoBee and the Scripps National Spelling Bee; and

WHEREAS Nihar Janga was just 11 years old when in 2016, he became the co-champion of the National Spelling Bee; and

WHEREAS he remains the youngest winner in the Bee’s 92-year history; and  

WHEREAS after achieving this honor, he began to focus on geography; and

WHEREAS he entered the GeoBee, which is an academic competition that helps to improve students’ knowledge of geography, world cultures, physical features, history, and earth science; and

WHEREAS more than 120 million students have participated in the National Geographic GeoBee, formerly called the National Geographic Bee, since it began in 1988; and

WHEREAS fierce competition in this year’s championship led to five tiebreaker rounds; and

WHEREAS Nihar Janga took top honors when he correctly answered this question: “More than one-third of Norway’s northernmost county is located on what plateau?” and

WHEREAS if you are struggling for the answer, this Texas student can tell you the answer is the “Finnmark Plateau;” and

WHEREAS his extensive knowledge of the Earth and its people earned Nihar Janga a trip to the Galápagos Islands as part of an expedition aboard the ship, the National Geographic Endeavor II, as well as a $25,000 college scholarship;  and

WHEREAS Nihar Janga joins an elite group of five Texans who have won this prestigious competition; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education extends its warmest congratulations to Nihar Janga, his family, and school district for a job well done; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the State Board of Education expresses its hope that Nihar Janga will continue his education in such an exemplary manner, bringing honor to himself and his state.

WITNESS our signatures, this fifteenth day of November, two thousand and nineteen, in Austin, Texas.


Keven Ellis, Chair



Georgina C. Pérez, Secretary