Posted on: March 2, 2018

Little Elm ISD Celebrates first Destination Imagination Team to go to State

Power of 7 Team advances to State Destination Imagination

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

 Leah Allman

 Hannah Force

 Ryleigh Kremer

 Benjamin Sparks

 Nelson Ball 

Team Managers-Sarah Hultquist and Camren D’Ann Morgan - Brent Elementary

Mark Hultquist

 Emily Morgan

 Ashia Wilson

 Joshua Nix

 Ben Nimmick 

 Lucas Tillison (Lakeview Elementary)

Team Manager-Travis Kvaal - Hackberry Elementary

 Dax Kvaal

 Aubrey Coleman-Axtell

 Aiden Grooms

 Marciella Morris

 Julian Crutchfield 

Team Managers - Pam Anderson and Vanessa Lay - Hackberry Elementary

Dante McLevish

Miranda Marcano

Emery Lay

Matthew Anderson

Brooklyn Lay

Naila Nobosse

Jayden Parra 

Team Manager-Cheryl Clark - Oak Point Elementary

Austin Wiggins

Elia Rodriguez

Madelyn Haney   

Team Manager-Janet Worley - Oak Point Elementary 

Miah Samples

Jay Samples

Jakob McCluskey 

Zane Worley

Wyatt Worley

 Alexis Lokken

Team Manager-Tracy Gibson - Prestwick 

Keaton Schneyer

Kasidy Kifune

Quinn Kifune (Hackberry Elementary)

Miles Gibson

Harper Beasley

Maggie Uren  

Team Manager-D’Andre Carpenter - Prestwick

Andrea Carpenter

Kyndall Jarrett

Rooney Ferdinando

Aviah Witcher  

Team Manager-Jeani Gonzalez - Prestwick

Haley Gonzalez

Jocelyn Gonzalez

Zaryn Noorani

Mia Tuffs

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

Owen O’Hagan

Dylan Matthews

Norelle De Luna

Valeria Chavez Tobar

Nolan Dipboye

These students placed 4th in the Technical Challenge!

 Team Manager- Michael Tran - Prestwick, Powell, Lakeside, and Brent

 Madeline Tran

 Melody Tran

 Emily Welch

 Nia Bullard

 Anthony Marotta

 These students placed 6th in the Technical Challenge!

Team Manager-Jill Duke - Prestwick

 Cody Duke

 Tanner Wigington

 Aidan Semancik

 Landon Draayer

 Teenamsh Kanamavlapudi

 Jackson Vesper

 These students placed 4th in Engineering Challenge

The following teams competed at the elementary level:

Team Managers-Lindsey Reyes and Norman White - Brent Elementary

Max Reyes

Addison White

Emma Stegeman

Diamond Norman-Hemphill

Jax Mccarroll

Mike Mathenge

These students competed in the Engineering Challenge.

Team Manager-Suzanne Fajner - Brent Elementary

Daniella Fajner

Sofia Fajner

Bailey Nimmick 

Grant Nicholson

These students competed in the Scientific Challenge.

Team Manager-Dorina Crutchfield - Hackberry Elementary

Iyona Adonri

Madison Hicks

Sophia Hicks

Joshua Burzynski

Simone Aliza Crutchfield

Mia Marcano

Abigail Glover 

These students competed in the Fine Arts Challenge.

Team Manager-Jennifer Tuffs - Prestwick 

Tristan Parks

Aliyaan Noorani

Nikhil Gutti

Misha Malamis

Jack Coke

These students competed in the Engineering Challenge.

Team Managers-Pauline Olewe and Amanda McCorcle - Lakeview Elementary

Joshua Olewe

Olivia Gorham

Mitchell “Xander” Tillison

Jakobe Johnson

Elan Glitzos

Freya Evangelista

These students competed in the Fine Arts Challenge

Team Manager-Denise Hanti - Prestwick

Avery Hanti

Justin Kim

Anya Malamis

Samara Moffatt

Blade Martinez

Braylin Tuffs

These students placed 5th in the Project Outreach Challenge!

Team Manager-Kimberly Ball - Chavez Elementary 

Mikayla Ball

Brooklyn Whitehead

Hailey Hancock

Presley Whitehead

Heidi Hancock 

These students placed 6th in the Project Outreach Challenge!

Team Manager-Melissa Bowen - Oak Point Elementary

Jackson Woods

Scarlett Matthews

Sydney Bowen 

These students placed 4th in the Improvisational Challenge!

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