Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Eight Teams Invited to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Westchester Academy team, left to right, Stephan Haci, Zeke Coleman, Arshi Ali, Jackie Nix, Paloma June and Isabella Boone. Not pictured, Coach Katie Coolidge.
Eight student teams from Spring Branch ISD campuses competed at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals held May 25-28 at Iowa State University.

The student teams earned the privilege of attending the Ames, Iowa, competition after 23 separate campus teams competed April 16 in state competition. Odyssey participants work in teams to test their skills in time management, creativity and innovation to solve five different problems or challenges.

Left to right, Ashanti Juarez, Nikolai Ross, Charlie Moreno, Kathy Menchaca, Arianna Flores, Stephanie Villarino, Alan Mendez and Cielo, Perdomo, Ridgecrest Elementary teacher and coach
At Iowa State, the campus teams met and competed with students from across the world, including teams from Eastern Europe and Germany, Japan, Russia and the city-state of Singapore in Asia.

At the state finals in April, the Cornerstone Academy student team was awarded the special Renatra Fusca Award for outstanding creativity and risk taking. This award led to an automatic invitation to World Finals for Cornerstone students.

“We had a phenomenal number of teachers who stepped up this year and served as coaches. It’s been wonderful to see so many parents and teachers involved in these Odyssey of the Mind teams,” said Iris Story, who helped found Odyssey programs across the district many years ago.

Left to right, Johnathan Ramos, Jose Rodriguez, Makayla Daniels, Daniella Covarrubias, Esmeralda Enriquez and Yalitza Hernandez, all Ridgecrest Elementary

World Finals qualifying teams included:

Problem 1: No-Cycle Recycle
Division 1 (Elementary)
First Place, Ridgecrest Elementary
Students: Yalitza Hernandez, Ariah Moreno, Jose Rodriguez, Makayla Daniels, Esmeralda Enriquez, Johnathan Ramos, Daniella Covarrubias
Coaches: Ryan Ferrugia, Rita Davidek, Cielo Perdomo

Division 2 (Middle School)
First Place, Cornerstone Academy
Students: Lauren Dumesnil, Sarah Garcia, Daniel Nipper, Gautam Krishnamurthy, Jaron Shelby, Halliday Magrige, Preston Ramsey
Coaches: Laura Shelby, Linda Dumesnil

Problem 3: Classics . . . Aesop Gone Viral
Division 1 (Elementary)
Second Place, Ridgecrest Elementary
Students: Arianna Flores, Stephanie Villarino, Nikolai Ross, Ashanti Juarez, Alan Mendez, Katherine Menchaca, Charlie Moreno
Coaches: Ryan Ferrugia, Rita Davidek, Cielo Perdomo

Division 3 (High School)
Second Place, Stratford High
Students: Madeleine Wylie, Max Schein, Sofia Jarrad, Drew Chan, Natalie Lee, Jacinda Isbell, Cameron Chan
Coaches: Karen Wylie, Althea Lee, Andy Chan

Problem 4: Stack Attack!

Division 2 (Cornerstone Academy)
Students: Adam Shugart Holly Kiker, Alex Rushing, Devon Schwartz, Avery Cooper, Jayden Gunsolley
Coach: Dena Shugart

Division 3 (High School)

First Place, Stratford High

Students: Andrew Dawson, Randall Royall, Caroline Crawford,  Joshua Chan, Riley Timmreck, Nestor Mejia
Coach: Katherine Dawson

Second Place, Memorial High
Students: Max Wolff, Josephine Lim, Luis Kim, Connie Lee, Finn Haddon, Jun Kim
Coach: Marilyn Wolff

Problem 5: Furs, Fins, Feathers & Friends

Division 3 (High School)
Second Place, Westchester Academy for International Studies
Students: Stephan Haci, Zeke Coleman, Arshi Ali, Jackie Nix, Isabella Boone, Katie Coolidge, Paloma June
Coach: Kim Coolidge

For more information about Odyssey of the Mind, contact SBISD Council of PTAs Odyssey Coordinator Iris Story at Or visit the group website at


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