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New ‘destination’ for Imagination teams

Team TuTu from CKJH won first place at the Destination Imagination Global competition last year. The TuTu Girls are (from left) Ali Gingrey, Dana Rubenstein, Scarlett Broere, Lauren Cox, Julie Fedorko, Elizabeth “ZZ” Cook and Shannon Lubetich. - Courtesy photo 2007
Team TuTu from CKJH won first place at the Destination Imagination Global competition last year. The TuTu Girls are (from left) Ali Gingrey, Dana Rubenstein, Scarlett Broere, Lauren Cox, Julie Fedorko, Elizabeth “ZZ” Cook and Shannon Lubetich.
— image credit: Courtesy photo 2007

t Two unsure of funding.

First the Olympic Peninsula region, then Washington state, now ... the world.

Three Destination Imagination teams in the Central Kitsap School District placed in DI’s state tournament on March 29 in Wenatchee and were honored with a spot at the DI Global Finals at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.

“We’re just really excited to go back,” said Team Tu-Tu member and Central Kitsap Junior High eighth-grader Julie Fedorko.

DI is a competition for school-aged kids that requires teams to work out unique solutions to odd problems through various skits and technical projects.

Team Tu-Tu is the favorite heading into this year’s finals, having finished first in the world last year.

“We’re trying not to think about it, pretty much,” Fedorko said. “I think last year was way more serious because we really wanted to do our best. We still want to do our best, but last year we really wanted to ... at least place.”

For two other local teams, however, the nod could be a bittersweet honor.

Tigers Eye from Emerald Heights Elementary School has already opted out of the tournament because of the high costs of the trip and the Mysterious No Names from Cougar Valley Elementary School are in a state of limbo trying to figure out funding sources.

“It’s a little too much money for our team,” Tigers Eye Manager Teresa Corigliano said. “We were going to try to fund-raise, but it’s just such a large amount.”

Team Tu-Tu spent a decent amount of time fund-raising for the trip, which costs somewhere in the ballpark of $1,200 per team member, Manager Kathy Lubetich said.

Tigers Eye and the Mysterious No Names team members and managers were somewhat surprised at their success at the state level and didn’t really expect to have to plan a cross-country trip.

“When we heard ‘Emerald Heights Elementary,’ everyone was like, ‘huh?’” Tigers Eye third-grader Anthony Corigliano said.

Tigers Eye has been in the mix for a few years, but a qualifying spot at global finals was an even bigger shocker for the Mysterious No Names, a first-year team.

“This is absolutely unexpected for all of us,” Manager Sean Erfe-Johnson said.

Erfe-Johnson also is a teacher at Cougar Valley.

“They did a great job and we just kind of kept going,” he said of the team. “They’re thrilled and they put in a lot of work.”

The team is currently looking for funding sources from as many places as possible. The Cougar Valley PTA, staffers, the Linder Foundation and local businesses have all been contacted in the hope of sending the No Names to the DI finals.

The deadline to pull together funding is May 2, Erfe-Johnson said.

For Tigers Eye, its enough just to qualify.

“I’m bummed we can’t go to Tennessee .. but I’m also happy we placed, at least,” said Tigers Eye team member and Emerald Heights fifth-grader Ashley Corigliano.

And Team Tu-Tu is looking forward to a more relaxed trip to Tennessee this time.

“Now that (we’ve) already been once it’s like, OK, we don’t have to be so nervous about the challenge and can have some fun and spend some time with the other teams,” Tu-Tu team member Shannon Lubetich said.

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