Monday, April 27, 2015

Six Campus Teams Advance to Odyssey World Finals

Odyssey of the Mind World Finals: Here comes Spring Branch ISD!

SBISD campuses qualified six separate student teams for World Finals in Odyssey of the Mind competition recently. These six teams earned berths at World Finals in state competition held on April 11 at Spring Woods High School.

“Making it to World Finals my senior year was icing on the cake!” exclaims Emily Mitchell after her Spring Woods High team made the final cut to join 800 teams at the annual international competition.

Odyssey of the Mind is a global educational program that provides kindergarten to college students with creative problem-solving opportunities. Small teams of five to seven students use their creativity and knowledge to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to re-interpreting a classic book or poem.

Student teams headed to World Finals this summer at Michigan State University in East Lansing include the following:

Ridgecrest Elementary School: Leah Holewyne, Kenya Cruz, Kaitlyn Menchaca, Elijah Sosa, Johnathan Ramos, Ariah Moreno and Esmerelda Enriquez. Coaches are Ryan Ferrygua and Anna Andrade. This team came in 2nd Place in Problem 1, Runaway ‘Train,’ Division 1.

Memorial Middle School: Sophia Grekin, Adam Kral, Niki Papakyriacou, Andrew Peterson, Susanne Teske and Zoey Weinstein. Coach is Emily Weinstein. This team came in 1st Place in Problem 5, Silent Movie, Division 2.

Westchester Academy for International Studies: Meredith Schomburg, Kaivon Dixon, Jack Chipman, Brock Rhebergen, Maddie Schulman, Ethan Rosenthal and Bryan Chun. Coach is Amy Schomburg. This team came in 2nd Place in Problem 1, Runaway ‘Train,' Division 2.

Westchester Academy for International Studies: Mitchell Benson, Caroline Bik, Josh Diaz, Daniel Garcia, Dakota Ransom, Cassandra Ung and Paige Williams. Coach is Karen Benson. This team came in 1st Place in Problem 4, Lose your Marbles, Division 3.

Spring Woods High School: Emily Mitchell, Jeremy Jackson, Lillian Monteiro, Riley Fairchild, Nathan Lerner, Rebecca Grekin and Edwin Parks. Coach is Iris Story. This team came in 1st Place in Problem 5, Silent Movie, Division 3.

Westchester Problem 4 team includes seniors (back row, left to right) Caroline
Bik, Mitchell Benson, Daniel Garcia, Josh Diaz and Dakota Ransom; (front row),
Paige Williams and Cassandra Ung.
Westchester Academy for International Studies: Katie Coolidge, Meg Schomburg, Robert Kidd, Isabella, Boone, Paloma June, Jackie Nix and Chris Guandique. Coach is Kim Coolidge. This team came in 2nd Place in Problem 5, Silent Movie, Division 3.

SBISD had 22 out of 32 district Odyssey of the Mind teams advance to state finals held recently at Spring Woods High. More than 170 teams registered.

Coach Christy Castillo states that “these students prove that our community excels in producing creative and talented young problem solvers.”

Iris Story, SBISD Council of PTAs creativity coordinator, announced state results. She was joined by Odyssey’s Region Director Cherie Walters in praising program growth and local family interest.
“Having grown up as an Odyssey of the Mind participant myself, I’m excited to be back in a leadership role and to see the continued growth and great opportunity this program offers students,” Walters said.

Donations are now needed to help all attend. At 6 p.m. on Friday, May 8, a district-wide fund-raising event will be held to assist SBISD students with expenses. The fundraiser will be held at Cornerstone Academy, 9016 Westview Drive.

At this event, students will perform their Odyssey contest solutions followed by question-and-answer sessions on how to begin a new Odyssey of the Mind team. Cost: Adults, $10; SBISD employees or students, $5.

For more details, please contact Iris Story at

Odyssey of Mind Region Competition Final Results:

SBISD Elementary Schools:
Ridgecrest – Vehicle Problem, 1st Place
Valley Oaks – Vehicle Problem, 3rd Place
Frostwood – Classical Problem, 4th Place
Valley Oaks – Classical Problem, 3rd Place
Terrace – Engineering Problem, 3rd Place

SBISD Middle Schools:
Westchester Academy, Vehicle Problem, 2nd Place    
Memorial Middle, Vehicle Problem, 5th Place
Memorial Middle, Technical Problem, 1st Place
Memorial Middle , Classical Problem, 3rd Place
Westchester Academy, Classical Problem, 5th Place
Cornerstone Academy, Classical Problem, 6th Place
Memorial Middle, Engineering Problem, 3rd Place
Memorial Middle, Theatrical Problem, 1st Place    
Cornerstone Academy, Theatrical Problem, 2nd Place

SBISD High Schools:
Spring Woods High, Technical Problem, 1st Place
Stratford High, Technical Problem, 2nd Place    
Stratford High, Classical Problem, 2nd Place
Westchester Academy, Classical Problem, 3rd Place
Westchester Academy, Engineering Problem, 1st Place
Spring Woods High, Theatrical Problem, 2nd Place
Stratford High, Theatrical Problem, 3rd Place
Westchester Academy, Theatrical Problem, 4th Place

SBISD Special Team Awards at Region:

Westchester Academy's vehicle problem was awarded the highest award for creativity, the Renatra Fusca Award, for the team’s creative propulsion system.

Memorial Middle’s engineering problem was awarded an Omer Award for the team’s positive attitude and persistence in the face of adversity.

Spring Woods High’s theatrical problem was awarded an Omer Award for its set design and teamwork.


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