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Islander students win state 'Destination Imagination' finals

Eleven Mercer Island students will represent the state of Washington in the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., next month.

The children, on teams from West Mercer Elementary and Islander Middle School, qualified in the regional and state championships in the international problem-solving competition. More than 100,000 students from 26 countries participate in Destination Imagination worldwide; only 8,000 will advance to the global finals.

Destination Imagination (DI) is an extracurricular program in which students work in teams to solve mind-bending challenges and present their solutions at tournaments to appraisers and live audiences. They are scored on how well they meet the requirements and for their creativity and teamwork. Teams also receive a score on an “Instant Challenge.”

The two Mercer Island teams are coached by Mark Headlee of West Mercer Elementary. Headlee has coached DI teams for more than 20 years, previously in the state of Iowa.

His current team, along with students from 25 other countries, will participate in four days of tournament activities and compete in their specific challenge areas. The following students will carry the Washington state flag and represent Mercer Island schools at the Destination Imagination Global Finals: from Islander Middle School, Carlin Chuck, Trevor Gullstad, Louis Lam, Dylan Ma, Jason McRuer, and Jay Rosenstein. From West Mercer Elementary, Verli Chen, Christopher Dierkes, Nick Lacrampe, Cole Nielsen, Nate Sigman and Benjamin Stoops.

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