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    Local Citizen Bee winner goes on to win Texas title

    Nate Gibson, winner of the Region 5 Citizen Bee competition held at Lamar State College Port Arthur, went on to win the state-wide competition in Austin.

    AUSTIN – Winning the Texas Citizen Bee contest is certainly no simple feat but Nate Gibson faced a challenge unlike any other on his way to a state championship.

    Gibson, who won the Region 5 contest held at Lamar State College Port Arthur this past April, had to battle through five tie-breakers before he would be named the state’s top Citizen Bee winner.

    Gibson and Region 2 winner Evan Hsiang tied on both the written and verbal rounds of the contest held in Austin, meaning for the first time in the history of the state Citizen Bee contest, competitors had to go to a head-to-head tiebreaker.

    Both answered the first four questions correctly, but on the fifth, after Hsiang incorrectly answered, Gibson got the correct response and took home the top trophy.

    Students compete individually in the Citizen Bee, a test of their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and other important documents, people, issues, civic values, and current events. The event consists of a written examination followed by oral questions.

    All of the questions and answers for the written and oral exams were available in the on-line study guide provided by the Law Focused Education, Inc., State Bar of Texas.

    “I have never enjoyed working with students, their families and teachers more than I did with our Citizen Bee contestants,” said the state sponsor. “They were all great and so appreciative of the opportunity to be in Austin as the top 20 students in the state.”

    Dr. Tina Capeles, instructor at Lamar State College Port Arthur, served as the regional competition director. Total Energies sponsored the regional event, as they have for many years, providing funding for the competition itself as well as the prize money presented to the winners.

    Along with his first-place finish at state, Gibson received a cash prize of $5,000. Gibson is certainly no stranger to the Citizen Bee competition with he and his siblings having participated in the event for several years.

    The Gibson children, who all graduated from Acorns to Oaks Academy in Damon, Texas, located just southwest of Houston, have earned top spots at the state Citizen Bee competition in the past. The eldest, Garrett, first competed at the LSCPA regional in spring 2002. He is now an attorney. The youngest of the five Gibson children, Nate, competed this year as a junior. He placed second as a freshman in the event a year ago.

    “The Gibson family’s success is a tribute to the hard work each of those students put in to be prepared to be competitive on a regional and state-wide level,” said Dr. Capeles. “I’m so proud that Southeast Texas was so well represented by Nate’s participation and success in Austin. He deserves the victory and the recognition.”