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Saturday, April 16, 2016
Students on the DeSales 3rd & 4th grade Destination Imagination Teams will move on to the Global Competition in Knoxville, Tenn. From left are 4th-graders Olivia Rongo, Sydney Mosher, Jamie Fraass, Natalie Pellicano and Kai Schiesel. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)


After achieving honors for creativity, teamwork and innovation in regional and state academic tournaments, two teams from DeSales Catholic School have earned the right to compete in Destination Imagination's Global Finals, the world’s largest celebration of student creativity, to be held May 25-28 in Knoxville, Tenn.

From left, DeSales 3rd graders, Jillian Knuutila, Isabella Watson, 
Dominic Pellicano, Sophia Goyette, Daniel Rahill and Aubree Parker.
Team members from from the DeSales 3rd grade team, “The Zoo Crew” led by Mrs. Nicole Goyette and assisted by Mrs. Sue Watson, include Daniel Rahill, Sophia Goyette, Dominic Pellicano, Isabella Watson, Jillian Knuutila, Aubree Parker and Hannah Upshaw. Team members from the DeSales 4th grade team, “The Magnifiers” led by Mrs. Stacey Pellicano, include Olivia Rongo, Sydney Mosher, Kai Schiesel, Natalie Pellicano and Jamie Fraass.

The DeSales 3rd graders will compete with other teams in the In Plain Sight challenge, while the DeSales 4th graders will compete in the Get a Clue challenge.  These challenges are open-ended challenges that require students to apply science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, in addition to their talents in improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork, community service and social entrepreneurship.

"These children worked very hard developing and creating their solution to the In Plain Sight problem," said Mrs. Nicole Goyette, 3rd grade team manager. "They showed that working together to solve problems does great things! I cannot wait to see how they do at Global Finals."

"It is cool to work with my friends. If we have a problem, we work it out together." said 9-year-old Aubree Parker, a member of the 3rd grade Zoo Crew.

Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 students who have taken part in its acclaimed Challenge program. This year, 150,000 students have participated in tournaments throughout the U.S. and 30 countries in hopes of earning a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.

The 12 students representing DeSales Catholic School will be among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,400 teams that will advance to Global Finals, which will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 25-28.

“The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. “Quantitative reasoning, collaborative problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, presentations and thinking on your feet are some of the important skills learned in the program.”

Fundraising efforts and underway to help these 12 students get to the Global Competition in Knoxville, Tenn. Anyone interested in making a donation to help these young students is asked to mail a check to DeSales Catholic School, 6914 Chestnut Ridge Road, Lockport, NY 14094, attention Destination Imagination Team.

DeSales is Eastern Niagara County’s only Catholic School, welcoming students of all faiths in Pre-School through Eighth grade. For more information call 433-6422 ext 407, or visit

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