Somewhere in the Bahamas—Hannah Tully is just 11, but her ability to memorize facts is amazing. So amazing, in fact, that the Vancouver, Washington, sixth-grader won a national memory championship and a $10,000 cash prize Monday afternoon.
Hannah, 11, of Vancouver, was one of 16 finalists in the National Memory Master competition held Monday during a five-day cruise to the Bahamas aboard the Carnival cruise ship Victory. Twelve 10-12-year-olds remained after the first round of completion, and six remained after the second round. Finally, after a third and final round and almost eight hours of grueling recitations, Hanna was the sole competitor left standing.
“It was really fun, but it was very, very hard,” Hannah said Monday. “Last week was the hardest; I studied pretty much nonstop. I’m glad it’s over, and I’m also glad I got to meet a lot of new friends.”
Hannah said she planned to save her winnings for college tuition.
The 16 finalists had to survive a rigorous series of local and regional competitions to reach the finals. Each of the finalists received two free tickets to the cruise and $800 in traveling money.
The National Memory Master competition is hosted by Classical Conversations®, a classical education resource used by homeschoolers in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries. Classical Conversations now has more than 93,000 students enrolled in its tutoring programs.
Hannah attends the Vancouver East Classical Conversations community, and one of her best friends from CC, Kylee Estoos, was also a finalist in the competition, but in the end, there could only be one winner.
Hannah is the daughter of James and Gretchen Tully and the oldest of five children. She is finishing her fifth year as a CC student and has been a Memory Master all five years. She will be entering CC’s Challenge program for young adults in the fall.
History and Essentials of the English Language are Hannah’s favorite CC subjects. In her free time her interests include ballet, piano and reading, and she also loves sewing, especially doll clothes.
In addition to the National Memory Masters competition, the first CC Capstone Cruise also features the third annual National Number Knockout finals on Tuesday and CC’s first national high school commencement on Wednesday.
CC provides resources, guidance and a community for a home school curriculum using classical education in three developmental stages: grammar, dialectic and rhetoric, and taught from a Christian worldview, according to its founder, Leigh Bortins. She says CC supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. She believes there are three keys to a great education: classical, Christian and community.
Started in 1997 and headquartered in West End, North Carolina, CC is a family-owned company that provides services to almost 1,900 CC communities around the world. For more information visit www.classicalconversations.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2016
John Carpenter, Communication Journalist