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WASD OM Teams Earn 3rd, 12th Place at 2019 World Finals

District Wide

May 30, 2019 | Awards & Celebrations

2019 OM WF Teams Group

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (MAY 30, 2019) — Two Williamsport Area School District Odyssey of the Mind teams each ranked among the top 15 at the 2019 World Finals last week at Michigan State University.

Williamsport Area Middle School secured a division two, third-place win for “Leonardo’s Workshop” and Cochran Primary School earned a division one, 12th-place spot for “Opposites Distract.”

Coached by Beth Lewis, Liz Manetta and assisted by Matthew Gutberlet, the team from WAMS was comprised of students Olivia CiabattariMia ClarkSydney Kelley, Lisa LewisBen Manetta and Lizzie Ryder.

“Coaching (the middle school) team alongside Liz Manetta has been an honor and a wonderful experience. The chemistry of that team is something so hard to explain. That, coupled with working all year long, is what makes them successful,” Lewis said. “We tell them before every performance just go out there and be you; no one can ever duplicate that. Although Odyssey of the Mind is just realizing these are some of the best kids in the world, hearing their names announced validated what I’ve known about them all along. We have been blessed and thankful that the district and the education foundation have continued to support them and they represented and made us all Williamsport Proud.”

The Cochran Primary team, coached by Melanie Vail and April Frank, consisted of third-grade students Emily FrankCooper GutberletBrayden HarpsterChaedyn LockardJulisa MartinRoslyn Perry, and Alex Vail.

Both coaches agreed that the students’ abilities far exceeded their expectations, with Frank noting, in particular, their growth as learners and in creative problem solving as a team.

“These kids started with a simple problem and created a solution unlike anything I could have imagined as an adult,” Vail added. “Their minds came together through creativity, problem solving and teamwork. The team came in first a regionals and we were ecstatic. They came in second at states and that blew my mind. For a group of third-graders and first-time world competitors, a 12th-place finish out of 67 teams exceeded my wildest expectations. I’m so proud of the hard work these children put in. Watching their creativity grow has been so rewarding.”

District OM Coordinator and WAHS teacher Spring Moore said she could not be more proud of the students’ accomplishments this year.

This was the fifth consecutive year WASD teams have competed at the World Finals. 

Last year, two teams from Curtin and WAMS were successful in the program’s regional, state and world competitions. Those teams competed at Iowa State University, both ranking in the top 25.

Odyssey of the Mind is a competition that blends creativity, engineering and teamwork. It is 100 percent student-directed, with adult coaches acting as guides. For more information, or to review synopses of this year’s program problems, visit www.odysseyofthemind.com.

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