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April 20, 2013

GISD teams carrying big imaginations

GREENVILLE — Continuing a long line of successful Destination ImagiNation teams, the Greenville Independent School District is sending a team to the Destination ImagiNation Global Championships for more than 20 years in a row.

Greenville ISD is sending two teams to Global this year, the Fine Arts team, coached by Pud Kearns, Mo Twilley and David Long; and the high school’s structure team, The Architects of Time, coached by Catherine Cantrell and Jackie Abbott.

Although GISD teams have advanced to the global competition every year, this is the first time since 2004 that a team from Greenville won the state championship.

The Fine Arts team took first place with their story of a little girl who had to face her fears by defeating, then befriending a monster under her bed.

With only a budget of $125, the students had to build from scratch how to lift the bed up to reveal the monster for the girl to fight. Kearns said the team won because of their ingenuity and critical thinking skills.

“It is a very elaborate bed with a pulley system they built,” she said. “They have to build everything themselves.”

Coaches are not allowed to help in the design, Kearns said she only helps them order the parts they need and makes sure no one gets hurt in the process.

“What these kids learn will carry on for a lifetime,” she said, adding that in her 20 years of teaching DI, many of her students have gone on to become doctors, scientists and engineers.

Kearns said the first place at the state competition will help the team place high in the global competition on May 22-25 in Knoxville, Tenn.

“We have a solution that should perform very very well with the appraisers,” she said. “It’s very sweet not only for the kids, but for me too.”

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