Angela and McDonald George of Columbus hold photographs of their granddaughter, Alannah George. The Georges' recently learned the 4-year-old, who lives in England, has an IQ of 140 and has been admitted to British Mensa. Photo by: Chris McDill/Special to The Dispatch
April 20, 2019 9:59:13 PM
McDonald and Angela George of Columbus received a stunning phone call recently, one very few people will ever get. Their son, Edmund, was reaching out from across the Atlantic Ocean, and the news was amazing: The Georges' 4-year-old granddaughter, Alannah, was officially being accepted into British Mensa. Mensa is an elite group of the most intelligent two percent of people in their age group. With an IQ of 140, Alannah, who lives in Iver, Buckinghamshire, England with her parents Edmund and Nadine George, is officially a genius.
"It was very exciting news when my son called me," said McDonald George. The proud grandfather, like his wife, is originally from Trinidad. As a service member in the U.S. Air Force for many years, he was previously stationed in Germany and England. He and his wife lived in Columbus for a period in the late 1990s and made the city their permanent home in 2008.
The Georges recognized a special quality in their little granddaughter a long time ago. When Alannah visited them in Columbus at the age of 18 months, she was reaching childhood milestones early.
"She recognized letters of the alphabet," Angela George said. In fact, Alannah was able to speak in full sentences. At a little more than 2 years old, she was counting and recognizing words, her grandmother added. Alannah's parents often read books to her and, by age 3, the child could read paragraphs from her favorite story books. She is fascinated by words and numbers.
"When she is doing something, she concentrates fully," said her grandmother, who returned in late March from a six-month visit with Alannah and her parents.
Dr. Peter Congdon, an acclaimed educational psychologist who runs the Gifted Children's Information Centre in Sulihull in England, conducted Alannah's assessment in January. It included the rigorous Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Test. About a month later, the child was the second youngest member in British Mensa. Compared with Alannah's IQ of 140, the average IQ for any age is 100. Typically, about 68 percent of the population has an IQ between 85 and 115, according to brainmetrix.com.
"She gets some of her intelligence from my side of the family, which has many teachers and educators," McDonald George said with a smile. Alannah's parents are also highly accomplished. Edmund George, who spent several summers in Columbus when he was younger, is a management consultant with a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from University College London. Nadine George is a business analyst.
Currently, Alannah attends St. George's School, in Windsor Castle, the same school attended by some of Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren.
As for the 4-year-old, genius status and membership in Mensa aren't going to her head. Yes, she is obsessed with academia, her mother said, but she's also a fan of Disney movies and princesses, ballet, acting and singing, her father told The Dispatch.
"Right now, Alannah is blissfully unaware," said Edmund George. "The test itself to her was a morning of fun puzzles."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.