A team of 5 students from Housatonic Valley Regional High School (Connecticut Regional School District #1) in Falls Village won the 27th  annual Connecticut High School Geography Challenge at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Tuesday, May 22.  The Connecticut High School Geography Challenge is an annual statewide interscholastic academic team competition hosted by the Connecticut Geographic Alliance.  The theme of this year’s highly competitive event was “Disasters—Natural and Human-Made”.


A team of five students from Lyme—Old Lyme High School finished second.  An enthusiastic Fairfield Warde High School came in third.   The Housatonic Valley Regional High School team was composed of students Soren Clulow, Shane Stebbins, Marijke Stiffler, Jared Taylor, and Keaton Terrall, and their coach was HVRHS social studies teacher Peter Vermilyea.


Nineteen high school teams from around Connecticut competed in events focused on this year’s theme of “Disasters—Natural and Human-Made”.  In the morning students scoured the CCSU campus in a modified orienteering event, read traditional maps and online GIS information in the map reading activity, and hunted for a gang of spies in a virtual scavenger hunt problem-solving activity.   In the afternoon all teams competed in a geography quiz bowl.  These events all had thematic “Disasters—Natural and Human-Made” -related questions for students to solve and answer.


The Connecticut high schools that competed were—

  • Bacon Academy, Colchester (Kristie Blanchard, teacher)
  • Bethel High School (Jessica Christensen, teacher)
  • Howell Cheney Regional Vocational-Technical High School, Manchester (Anthony Urciuoli and Adam Starvish, teachers)
  • Danbury High School (Jose Machado and Christine Riter, teachers)
  • Darien High School (Dennis Carbrera, teacher)
  • Fairfield Warde High School (Robert Mendenhall, teacher)
  • Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Falls Village (Peter Vermilyea, teacher)
  • Lyme—Old Lyme High School (Glenn Elliott and Aron D’Aquila, teachers)
  • Middletown High School (Trevor Charles, teacher)
  • Ridgefield High School (Eileen Stewart, teacher)
  • Edwin O. Smith High School, Storrs (Russ Niederwerfer, teacher)
  • South Windsor High School (Erin Simcik, teacher)
  • Wethersfield High School (Michael Ferrell and Kelly Zaleski, teachers)


For additional information on the Connecticut High School Geography Challenge, contact the Connecticut Geographic Alliance at Central Connecticut State University, http://www.ctgeoalliance.org, or contact CGA teacher consultant Dr. Cynthia Pope, Ph.D. at popec@ccsu.edu .