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Beyond the Imagination, a Destination has emerged for seven young Destination Imagination Competitors from Chavez Elementary. “Power of 7” is a team made up of six fifth graders and one fourth grader. They are the first team to advance to the DI state competition in Little Elm ISD history.
During the award show, when it was announced they tied for first place with another team from another district, the “Power of 7” team jumped out of their indian criss-cross position from the floor and screamed for joy as the ran to the front to receive their medals and trophy. “Oh my goodness, we’re going to state,” exclaimed the team with uncontrollable excitement. Eric Herrington, the volunteer team manager, shared in their enthusiasm. They have spent the last four months preparing for the Trinity Valley North Central Regional Tournament. “Students have written me letters before our next practice about directions they want to go and ideas they want to explore to improve upon their performance,” said Herrington who is focused on the next competitive steps for this team. “Even after a first place win, this team came out analyzing what we could have done differently, what worked, what didn't work, and suggestions for improvement,” said Herrington.
Three years ago, Little Elm ISD offered Destination Imagination (DI) to all interested K-12 students. DI is an international program that involves 45 US states and 15 different countries, broken down into regional areas. It is a non-profit, volunteer-led, cause-driven organization with the purpose to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.
The journey at Little Elm ISD began with 14 teams the first year, seven teams the second year, and 21 teams this year. “We have seen a gradual increase in the number of teams who are becoming interested in DI,” said Jackie Jackson, Gifted and Talented specialist for the District. “Our Lobos learned patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process,” said Jackson. She, along with the other District G/T specialists, Roxanne Clark and TJ Parks, helped organize the District teams for DI competition this year.
“The first two years, we had several teams place in the top six in the area! This year, we had even more place in the top six and we have a team going all the way to state to represent Little Elm ISD,” said Jackson. “We want to recognize all the students and parent volunteers who participated last weekend and helped us make this the most successful year for DI at Little Elm ISD.”
The DI program fosters students’ creativity, courage, and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts, and service learning. Teams are formed in September based on the amount of parent volunteers.
“Power of 7” Team will be competing at state in Mansfield on April 6 and 7 along with 500 other Texas teams.
Team Manager: Eric Herrington - Chavez Elementary
Lily Duke - 5th
Santiago Grindstaff - 5th
Colin Herrington - 5th
Lexis Jones - 4th
Jackson Morales - 5th
Ava Mueller - 5th
DJ Taiwo - 5th
In the Rising Stars category (K-2nd grades), nine teams participated from Little Elm ISD. Rising Stars are a non-competitive category.They participated in the Rising Stars Challenge, Friends Everywhere.
Team Managers-Aubrey Allman and Linda Force - Chavez Elementary
Team Managers-Sarah Hultquist and Camren D’Ann Morgan - Brent Elementary
Lucas Tillison (Lakeview Elementary)
Team Manager-Travis Kvaal - Hackberry Elementary
Team Managers - Pam Anderson and Vanessa Lay - Hackberry Elementary
Team Manager-Cheryl Clark - Oak Point Elementary
Team Manager-Janet Worley - Oak Point Elementary
Team Manager-Tracy Gibson - Prestwick
Quinn Kifune (Hackberry Elementary)
Team Manager-D’Andre Carpenter - Prestwick
Team Manager-Jeani Gonzalez - Prestwick
Twelve teams represented Little Elm ISD in the competitive category; nine elementary teams and three middle school teams. These teams received scores and were recognized if their scores placed them in the top six of all the teams in that category. Out of the 12 competitive teams, Little Elm ISD had seven teams place in the top six for the TVNC Region.
The following teams competed at the middle school level. All three middle school teams placed in the top 6 of the TVNC Region:
Team Manager- Kevin O’Hagan - Prestwick, Powell, and Oak Point
Norelle De Luna
Valeria Chavez Tobar
These students placed 4th in the Technical Challenge!
Team Manager- Michael Tran - Prestwick, Powell, Lakeside, and Brent
These students placed 6th in the Technical Challenge!
Team Manager-Jill Duke - Prestwick
These students placed 4th in Engineering Challenge
The following teams competed at the elementary level:
Team Managers-Lindsey Reyes and Norman White - Brent Elementary
These students competed in the Engineering Challenge.
Team Manager-Suzanne Fajner - Brent Elementary
These students competed in the Scientific Challenge.
Team Manager-Dorina Crutchfield - Hackberry Elementary
Simone Aliza Crutchfield
These students competed in the Fine Arts Challenge.
Team Manager-Jennifer Tuffs - Prestwick
Team Managers-Pauline Olewe and Amanda McCorcle - Lakeview Elementary
Mitchell “Xander” Tillison
These students competed in the Fine Arts Challenge
Team Manager-Denise Hanti - Prestwick
These students placed 5th in the Project Outreach Challenge!
Team Manager-Kimberly Ball - Chavez Elementary
These students placed 6th in the Project Outreach Challenge!
Team Manager-Melissa Bowen - Oak Point Elementary
These students placed 4th in the Improvisational Challenge!