A+ Achiever: Shawn Thacker

Quentin Misiag

Shawn Thacker

Sixth Grader, Ernest Horn Elementary School

Do you know which country in the South China Sea has more than 7,000 islands? If not, it might  be a good idea to ask Shawn Thacker. Thacker, a sixth grader at Ernest Horn Elementary is the recent winner of the school’s annual geography bee after answering the Republic of the Philippines as his final question.  Upon competing against his fellow classmates at Horn and taking a nationally-judged test that was sent to Washington D.C., he will now travel to the Iowa Geography Bee competition held at Grinnell College’s Harris Center on March 30. Using his knack and knowledge for geography, he will compete against the top one hundred elementary students from across the state of Iowa.

“I thought I had a pretty good chance of winning (at Horn) because I like to learn more about the world and specifically, the people in it,” said Thacker.
After the school competition was narrowed down to the final three, he and the remaining two students had to write their answers down on paper and the rounds continued, with repeated success from each student. In the end, Thacker would take the title after much determination and patience.  He added that during the competition at Horn, he “wasn’t nervous at all and is excited for the experience at the state competition.” When the confident and mature Thacker isn’t busy learning about the world, he enjoys doing what many other students his age do, including playing for the Iowa City Kickers soccer club and watching his favorite athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo play for the Real Madrid professional soccer club.
Although he hasn’t even entered junior high school yet, his future aspirations are limitless, including experiencing new places by traveling the world.
“I love having [Thacker] in geography class because he has great knowledge of the subject and often knows more than I do. I think he’ll represent us well at the state level,” Social Studies teacher Susy Junge said.

Shawn’s Favorites:

Ice cream flavor: Mint

Favorite artist/band: The Beatles

Dream vacation spot: “I’ve been to France and I also want to go to Italy”

Favorite class/ teacher: Math

Person I look up to: Cristiano Ronaldo

Breakfast food: garlic bagels from Bruegger’s Bagels

Dream school: Cambridge University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Something that people would be surprised to know about me: “I’ve been to more countries (at least 8) than states in the United States.”