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June 5, 2013

Area student reaches history bee nationals

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — A student from Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School made it all the way to a national event in his first year of competition.

Seventh-grader Timothy Picozzi participated in the National History Bee held June 1 after qualifying on the local and regional levels. The event took place at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

Picozzi said he didn’t score well enough to move beyond the early round of competition but “it was worth the effort.”

This was the first year that G-MU seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher Rick Mohrien organized the event at the school. It’s important to provide such opportunities for his students, he said. It was optional, but 12 took the initial test. Four qualified for the regional competition held in March in Manlius, and Picozzi qualified for the finals. While he paid for travel and accommodations, the school paid the entry fee, Mohrien said

Making it to the national championship is “pretty impressive” National History Bee director of operations Eric Huff said. There are thousand of students who start out at the school level, and only a few move on to each level.

This was Picozzi’s first year at G-MU. His family had moved from Mount Sinai on Long Island.

“I think its great he took advantage of the opportunity,” Mohrien said. While students could study after school. “He did a lot of this on his own.”

Picozzi said he wasn’t that interested in history when his teacher approached him about taking the initial qualifying test earlier this year. But he thought he would give it a try, and it snowballed from there. His father accompanied him to the event.

He was grateful for all the help from Mohrien and friends in helping to prepare for the bee, and said he would like to try it again. He said the experience should help him do better.

Mohrien said it was something the school would continue to be involved with, and there has been more interest from students who saw Picozzi’s success.