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AA’s destination imagiNation is off to global finals!

AA’s fourth grade DI team celebrating with their third place medals (pictured from left to right) Audrey Baker, Gabby Cox, Morgan Hamler, Avery, and Laryssa Myers.

by Trish Cummings

The fourth grade American Academy (AA) Destination ImagiNation (DI) team, The Yadda Yadda Yaa-Hoos, have put AA on the Destination map this year. The team, comprised of students Audrey Baker, Gabbi Cox, Morgan Hamler, Laryssa Myers and Avery, placed third in the tournament on March 19, and wowed the judges with their unusual and creative solutions to the challenge.

The team performed again on April 16 at the Auraria Campus where they competed with other teams from all over Colorado. The Yadda Yadda Yaa-Hoos proudly took second place at state! The team will now go on to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, later this month.

The younger team, the Brainiacs, comprised of AA second graders Sam Baker, Ainsley Cox, Jordan Genaurio, Jack Hamler, Marissa Segal, and Peyton also performed extremely well with the help of coach Kristie Russell at the tournament. They earned many compliments and smiles from the judges, and learned a lot about what it takes to win when they qualify to compete with the big kids on a competitive level.

DI is a national non-profit organization providing educational programs to emphasize the skills of team problem-solving. Students meet weekly at AA to work on their challenges and prepare for the DI tournament. This year, 250 Douglas County students participated in the program, with 6,900 students from across Colorado and 100,000 students from across the US and more than 30 other countries.

Five year DI veteran coach, Wendy Hamler, says, “Destination ImagiNation is about the process and the journey of allowing kids to think outside the box while learning teamwork, gaining self-confidence and developing lifelong skills that will carry well into adulthood. It is so rewarding for me to watch each of these kids grow and unleash his or her imagination. I am always amazed at how much they are capable of when they are given the chance to dream.”

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