Wylie has a long history of success in Destination Imagination competitions, but this year marked a first for the program at the regional competition.
This year Wylie hosted the event.
More than 2,000 students in DI’s Greater Fort Worth Region descended on McMurry University in late February to compete for the right to advance to state. Among those were more than 75 students from Wylie on 11 different teams.
The change of location did not keep Wylie from its same amazing results. Six of the 11 teams qualified for state, and every single Wylie team placed in the top 6 of its division.
Teams had to be the champion of their division to automatically qualify for state, which is April 6-7 in Mansfield.
Wylie DI Director Kim Cheek said everyone loved coming to Abilene, even though most of the schools in the Greater Fort Worth Region are from the Metroplex. Abilene is on the western edge of the region.
“It was such a positive response,” Cheek said. “We have heard wonderful things.”
Cheek said McMurry not only proved to be great hosts, but the university provided a great deal of manpower for the event. Wylie students, teachers and administrators also helped, including Wylie Superintendent Joey Light who spent the entire day directing traffic at the cross walk on Sayles. More than a dozen Wylie alumni and parents also served as appraisers.
Cheek and Trisha Eichler served as co-directors of the event.
“I have an entirely new appreciation for those who plan events,” Cheek said. She said Eichler put in a huge amount of time in the effort. Eichler is a former DI parent and team coach who has continued to work with Wylie children long after her own children have graduated.
Cheek said hosting the event was a win for the school district and for the city.
“There was a huge impact to the Abilene economy,” she said.
The DI teams that qualified for state are:
Won 1st place in the Engineering Challenge, Elementary Track 1
Team members are Ryleigh Green, Steven Cowling, Caitlin Silva, Daisy Smith, Joshua Heidema, Lizzy Thorup and Carlee Nelson.
Won 1st place in the Engineering Challenge, Elementary Track 2
Team members are Kennedy Hanson, Sadie Mae Todd, Parker Blair, Ryan Ross, Reid Messer, Aubrie Hammond and Ryan Butler.
Won 1st place in the Scientific Challenge
Team members are McKenzie McElyea, Abbie Bulls, Avery Nelson, Kelsie Burleson, Nalyssa Shirley, Kyle Page and Jacob Brouse.
Screaming Banana Goats
Won 1st place in the Engineering Challenge
Team members are Joshua Fenton, Carly Hale, Ryan Blake, Wyatt Edmiston, Dayra Figueroa, Jacob Larum and Kyla Flanagan.
Won 1st place in the Scientific Challenge, secondary division, and 1st place in the instant challenge. Team members are Madison Cole, Declan Sauley, Christian Barbian, Colton McClellan, Zach Binkley, Bailey Buck and Chloe Ferguson. Madison Cole won a Magellan Award.
Won 1st place in the Fine Arts, secondary division and als won a Renaisance Award. Team members are Eden Sauley, Coltyn Cook, Davis Haney, Carson Merket, Ethan Bright, Lilly Saterbak and Kole Trumble.
Other Wylie DI teams that placed at the competition were:
Finished in 3rd place in the Fine Arts Challenge and won a Renaissance Award.
Team members are Paul Carper, Deema Al-Sayyad, Carter Miller, Aubrey Brown, Seth Bergan, Blaze Valentine and Lucy Waldrip.
Finished in 3rd place in the Fine Arts Challenge
Team members are Carson Wells, Brandon Cowling, Berkley Britton, Tanner Jones, Skylar Nicholson and Garrett Jones.
Finished 6th in the Scientific Challenge
Team members are Daniel Sanchez, Katherine Dalton, Campbell Garner, Aaliyah Agee, Blakely Garrison, Kamryn Wood and Gabriella Figuerroa.
Flying Guacamole Turtles
Finished in 6th place in the Project Outreach Challenge. The team hosted a 5K run that raised $2,000 for the Noah Project. Team members are Carly Buck, Deni Booe, Chrissy Prince, Keily Perkins, Cerys White, Adalee Bradford and Sydney Katona.
Finished in 6th place in the Scientific Challenge, secondary division.
Team members are Lillian Todd, Emily McBride, Taylor Baker, Avery Cousins and Savannah Alvarez.