Lebanon Trail High School freshman student Kendall Gee prepared for months for the 2021 Texas Citizen Bee Competition. After winning the regional competition this spring as a freshman, her perseverance paid off with a first place finish at the 2021 State Citizen Bee Competition.
“It’s surreal,” Gee said. “The competition is open to freshmen to seniors from all over the state and I didn’t expect to win but I’m grateful for the experience and opportunity to compete.”
The Texas Citizen Bee is a statewide civic education program and competition for high school students that includes both written and oral rounds. This year, the competition was in a virtual format.
The timed, written and oral competition included topics on the United States Constitution, important documents, people, landmark Supreme Court cases, civic values and skills and current events.
In preparation for the competition, Gee created several systems to quiz herself based on the nearly 200 pages of information and facts provided by the Sumner Foundation and the State Bar of Texas and Law-Related Education. She spent her Friday nights studying with her former teacher and Citizen Bee coach Patience LeBlanc, an instructional coach at Frisco High School.
“It is a lot of memorization and running through items repeatedly,” explained Gee. “I studied a lot but the more you study, the more you are likely to remember the facts.
“It’s amazing to learn about our country’s history and how it applies and is relevant to today. I would encourage anyone interested in the Citizen Bee to compete.”
LeBlanc explained that Gee achieved this accomplishment through her rigorous perseverance, hard work and love of history and government.
“Kendall wants to be a lawyer someday,” LeBlanc said. “I can’t wait to see what a difference she will make in the future!”
While Gee clearly glows when speaking on her accomplishment, she is also keenly aware of the help and guidance she has received throughout the process.
“I am thankful for Mrs. LeBlanc who inspired me in middle school to join the middle school version of this competition,” Gee said. “I’m inspired by her passion for teaching, which has developed my interest in history.
“I am also grateful to the Sumner Foundation and the State Bar of Texas and Law-Related Education for the opportunity to compete. I hope to compete all four years of high school and am already preparing for next year’s competition!”
Congratulations to Gee who won a $5,000 cash prize for her first place finish at the state competition and plans to put it into savings.
Keep up the great work and good luck in the competition next year!