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Four New Richmond DI teams advance to state

Seven New Richmond teams participated in the regional Destination ImagiNation (DI) competition held in Osceola Saturday. Four of them placed either first or second and will now compete at the state level at UW- Stevens Point on April 19.

Destination ImagiNation is an opportunity for students to enter competitions in subjects they are interested in and to work together in teams for eight weeks to problem-solve and challenge themselves to think "outside of the box" at regional, state, national and global competitions.

Two teams from East Elementary, two teams from St. Mary's, one from the Middle School and two from the High School represented New Richmond at Osceola on Saturday.

The East Elementary team, coached by Steve and Theresa Anderson, won second place in the challenge "Switch," which qualifies them to compete at the state level.

Team members Aaron Anderson, Aaron Pazdera (attends West Elementary), Taylor Stai, Andrea Meisner and Miah Olson worked together engineering a structure made of balsa wood (within Destination ImagiNation regulations) to withstand as much weight as possible.

The team also composed and performed a skit as part of their challenge to explain their structure, which was a mock iPhone/Global Positioning Satellite that played music.

The team's prototype structure held 86 pounds in practice. The actual structure used at the competition was made with a different glue than the prototype. It held only 46 pounds. But it was enough to take second place. The team will use the original glue at the state competition.

Another East Elementary team participated in the "Hit or Myth" challenge at DI.

Coached by Kelly Curtis and Julie Landt, this team was required to compose and perform a theater piece based on a fairy tale or myth. In their presentation, they were required to investigate the origin and meaning of the myth.

Their challenge included choosing a foreign country and researching its history to come up with a plausible myth based on scientific testing processes.

The third and fourth grade team members, Curtis Whitwam, Michael Skoyen, Ryan Jansen, Tyler Koch, Zach Landt, Austin Webber and Brett Jensen chose Brazil and their myth had to do with the ghost of a past ruler.

"The boys did a great job," Curtis said. "DI is all about youth empowerment. I was really pleased with how well they all came together as a team."

Although the team did not advance to state, their coaches are very pleased with their performances and how much they learned in the process.

St. Mary's teams

Two teams from St. Mary's School provided strong performances at Saturday's competition.

Mary Rosauer and Rita Riley's third and fourth grade team included Sam Charbonneau, Maria Medini, Shaylee Parnell, Lisa Johnson and Gavin Brown. This team participated in the "Hit or Myth" category.

Diane Nelson coached the sixth, seventh and eighth grade team from St. Mary's. This team took second place in the improvisations category "Chorific," in which they had a half hour to come up with a skit solving several problems to accomplish a chore.

Team members include Heidi Germain, Grace Donaldson, Lydia Dalton, Alex Charbonneau, Susan Kilian, Patty Nelson and Meredith Jarchow.

Middle School team

Melanie Schorr coached the Middle School team that faced the challenge "Chorific." The team members included Jason Koch, Jazmine Clapp, Patricia Harer, Blaire Ziebol and Hailey Webber.

High School teams

Two teams from New Richmond High School competed at Destination ImagiNation Saturday and both will move on to state.

Coach Kat Brossmer's team won first place in "Hit or Myth" with their skit which was set in Ireland and based on a myth that on the vernal equinox, an egg will balance on end. Five of the students from this team competed at the global level last year.

Team members this year are Evan Bacaynski, Monique Hagel, Phoebe Hall, Maria Nelson, Carrie Powell, Jackson Scott and Anna Swanson.

Amber Johnson and Arlene Tenner's High School team participated in "Chorific." Because teams must compete at the highest grade level of their team members, this team was comprised of all eighth graders except Angela Tenner, a ninth grader. Ben Johnston, Jocque Warner, Caleb Warner and Jacqueline Schultz took second place and will compete in the state competition at the high school level..

For more information on Destination ImagiNation, visit