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SHIRLEY — Once again, the Destination Imagination (DI) teams have brought enormous pride to the town.

The teams have been getting their solutions ready for the Regional DI competition held April 5 in Ayer since fall. Preparation has included practicing, researching, sharpening skills, and revising, creating and planning.

DI is a program for children from elementary age to college age that promotes creativity and problem solving. Teams of up to seven members compete in various challenges that require complex thinking, problem solving, teamwork and creativity.

Five teams of students from Shirley participated. They presented their challenge solutions with skill, humor and success.

Not all teams that register make it to the regional tournament. Some teams withdraw. For at least the past six years, all Shirley teams have competed at the regional level. Each year at least one Shirley team has taken second place or better. This year was no exception.

Lura A. White school’s third- and fourth-grade team — David Kane, Courtney Stoltzfus, Megan Dean, Sonya Trapp, Texas Manning and Eric Xing — successfully presented their solution to the “Hit or Myth” challenge, solved their instant challenge and carried the Shirley DI banner as they led all the Shirley teams into a crowded gym of more than 400 other students and their families. The team was managed by Meredith Marcinkewicz.

The Lura A. White School fourth-grade team performed its improvisational solution to “Chorific” and solved its instant challenge, earning second place in the competition at the elementary level.

Managed by Chris Olson and assisted by her daughter, Rachel, the team — Emily Olson, Hannah Cooper, Julie Maillet, Jarod Rouleau, Danielle Colburn and Jasmine Willis — incorporated facts they researched about Pharoah Hatsheptsut into their presentation.

Last year’s DI global finalist team — Annika Quinones, Alanna Draleau, Alec Boyle, Ali Gesin, Patricia Sheen and Stevie Schaeffer — did a phenomenal job this year of bringing Sigmund Freud and some trends of the 1920s to life in its DI’ve Got a Secret challenge. Managed again by Linda Quinones and Julie Gesin, the team solved the instant challenge, earning second place at the middle level.

Deanna Wood, Jennifer Goulart, Melissa Hampson and Gregory Richards formed another SMS team, managed by LAW librarian Kathryn Lyon. They presented an improvisational solution about Jesse Owens and a soda machine that won them the respectable third-place ribbon.

Each year two coveted awards are given to recognize outstanding attributes of DI participants. The Renaissance Award recognizes teams with outstanding engineering, design and performance. The DaVinci Award recognizes outstanding creativity.

This year, Gregory Richards made his first year in DI noteworthy by winning an Individual Renaissance Award for his improvisational creation of a swivel chair, made from disposable cups and cookie sheets, and his ability to create the illusion of sitting on it during the performance without crushing it.

A team of high school sophomores, previously all students of Shirley schools, worked together this season and presented their solution to the improvisational “Chorific” challenge. Team manager Amy Peck must have been proud. The team, which incorporated facts about Galileo into its skit about the chore of finding keys, came in second place in the secondary level. The team is comprised of Jared Aponte, Cassie Huff, Isaiah Goss, Jessica Peck, Vicky Richards and Brittany Nicholson. — Theresa Richards, Shirley DI coordinator