| LeavenWorth Times |
Three local teams qualify for Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

By JOHN RICHMEIER, Times Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 8:02 AM CDT

Three local teams have qualified for the World Finals in the Odyssey of the Mind program.

Two teams from Patton Junior High School earned the right to compete in the international tournament after each had a first-place finish in its respective division at a state Odyssey of the Mind competition March 29 in Manhattan.

"We did a really good job," Sally Sittnick said of her team made up of fellow ninth-graders.

Her teammates included Maigan Bridgette, Connor Cabrey, Keiara Expose, Kristen Polizzi and Nathan Salvatorelli. The team was coached by teacher Lori Wilcox.

The other Patton team included seventh-graders Jordan Boyce, Peter Gardner and Ben Schatzel as well as eighth-graders Emily Ross, Madelyn Schwartz and Maddy Tennant. The team was coached by parent Tammy Schatzel.

A team from Leavenworth High School also qualified for the World Finals by finishing in second place at the state competition.

The team included sophomores Molly Sevcik, Taylor Bowie, Bethany Bond and Beth Lowry as well as freshman Brian Lee and junior Mary Lowry. The team has worked under the guidance of teacher Ginger Riddle.

Odyssey of the Mind has been described as a competition that requires students to be creative and solve problems. Participants select long-term problems to work on and also are presented spontaneous problems at competitions.

The World Finals will be May 31 to June 3 in Maryland. The Patton students said they plan to attend the competition.

"We'll be doing fundraising to help pay for that," Sittnick said. Members of the Leavenworth High School team also said they would like to compete at the world event.

"We're going to try to," Bowie said. "We're looking for sponsors."

The Patton and Leavenworth teams that qualified for the World Finals each had selected a long-term problem called "The Eccentrics!" which involved the creation of a skit.

"We have three eccentric characters," Tennant said.

The Patton eighth-grader said the characters have to solve a problem with the Earth. The skit also has to include a celebration at the end. And the characters have to start a fad.

The Leavenworth students said a performance of a skit at a competition has a time limit of eight minutes.

"If you go over, you get penalized," Sevcik said.

They said they also were limited to a budget of $125.

Students competed at the state competition after advancing from a regional tournament.

The Leavenworth students beat the ninth-grade Patton team to capture first place at their regional event.

But the Patton team finished first in a rematch at the state competition.

The eighth- and seventh-grade team from Patton had finished second at the regional tournament, losing the first-place spot to a team from the Piper school district.

"So we fixed up all of the problems we had," Gardner said.

Wilcox said a third Patton team also competed at the state tournament but did not qualify for the World Finals.

A team from Eisenhower Elementary School also competed at the state competition.

Also at Leavenworth High School, students have recommenced an Odyssey of the Mind club. Sevcik said her school has had such a club in the past.

"It's been a while," Bond said.

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