Return to Headlines

GISD advances 6 teams to Destination Imagination's Global Finals

After winning honors for creativity, teamwork and collaborative problem solving in state and regional tournaments, six Greenville ISD teams have earned the chance to travel to Destination Imagination's Global Finals, the largest creative thinking and problem solving competition in the world, to be held May 20-23rd in Knoxville, Tenn.


Destination Imagination is an educational program where student teams are immersed in the creative process needed to solve open-ended Challenges, and then present their solutions at regional and state tournaments. If they win at those levels, they may receive an invitation to Global Finals.


Greenville High School will be sending their Improv team with members Jace Kilmer, Rachael Garrett, Mandi Isom, Jaycie Haugen, Ariel Taylor, and Jada Hilburn, along with team managers Emily Duke and Lori Butler to the Global Finals in Knoxville. It has been 10 years since Greenville has advanced an Improv team to Global Finals. In addition, GHS will be sending another team to compete in two challenges; Project Outreach and Scientific. Team members include Emma Anderson, Allyson Koger, Makenzy Mulder, Allison Ozarowski, Chase Vance, Hayden Willeford and Reah Dawson, with team managers Sharen Ozarowski and Kim Mulder.  This team has been competing together for 11 years and this will be their third time to advance to Global Finals. 


Greenville Middle School will send their scientific team for the second consecutive year.  Team members include Kate Willeford, Allison Millard, Chloe Burk, Ella Walker, Martha Hill, and team managers Keith and Tiffany Willeford.  The team also won a DaVinci Award for outstanding character development at the State competition this past weekend in Dallas, TX.


In the Elementary Division,  the Lamar Elementary Improv team, whose members are Caleb Manley, Preston Norris, Isabella Shiflet, Morgan Green and team manager Shannon Manley, will attend Globals along with the Bowie Elementary Fine Arts team, whose members are Stella Duke, Gregory Just (Lamar), Sarah Whitson (6GC), Emma Woods, Ignacio "Nacho" Moreno, Sydney Homerstad, and John Hill.


"Our Affiliate tournament in Texas is second in size only to Global Finals,” said Destination Imagination District Coordinator, Emily Duke. The DI state competition, held Saturday, April 11th in Dallas, TX, hosted more than 474 teams. “Advancing to Global finals with such fierce competition is quite an accomplishment.  I am very proud to be involved with this incredible DI community we have created in Greenville.  I’m so proud of our young innovators. 6 teams from GISD is quite an accomplishment," said Duke.


“The Destination Imagination program allows students K-College to learn and experience the creative process. Quantitative reasoning, collaborative problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, presentations and thinking on your feet are some of the important skills learned in the program,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination.


Many students involved in the DI program have participated in it for many years. “DI has been a part of my life since I was in the first grade. I have learned to overcome challenges with the help of my teammates. We know what each other are good at and what we need help on. We have so many memories that are special to just us,” said GHS Project Outreach and Scientific team member, Allie Ozarowski.  


“This program brings together some of the most innovative young minds” and “our students appreciate the impact DI has on their lives,” said Duke.  Jace Kilmer, a member of the GHS Improv team said “It's so inspirational to be around the most creative kids the state of Texas has to offer. It doesn't matter if you're participating in a challenge or not, it will have an impact on you.”


Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million young people and adults who have benefitted from taking part in its acclaimed Challenge program. This year, another 100,000 young people have competed in tournaments throughout the U.S. and in 30 countries to earn a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.


The six teams that will represent Greenville ISD are among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,300 teams that will advance to Global Finals, which will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 20-23.


“We’ve seen the development of superior aptitudes in analytical thinking, leadership, project management, teamwork, communication, research and innovation in hundreds of thousands of youth since our organization’s inception almost three decades ago, and we believe Destination Imagination has the potential to bridge the gap between what is taught in our schools and the thinking skills our youth will need to succeed in the world of the future,” said Cadle.


For more information on the Destination Imagination program, please contact Emily Duke at



GHS Project Outreach/Scientific: Hayden Willeford, Chase Vance, Emma Anderson, Makenzy Mulder, Allyson Koger, Reah Dawson, Allison Ozarowski
GHS Improv: Mandi Isom, Jace Kilmer, Ariel Taylor, Jaycie Haugen, Rachael Garrett, Jada Hilburn 
GMS Performance (Placed at State): Nathan Lancaster, Jazmyne Thomas, Madeline Miller, Katie Duncan
GMS Scientific: Allison Millard, Martha Hill, Chloe Burk, Kate Willeford, Ella Walker
Bowie Performance: Gregory Just, John Riley Hill, Sarah Whitson, Stella Duke, Ignacio "Nacho" Moreno, Emma Woods, Sydney Homerstad      
Lamar Improv: Preston Norris, Isabella Shiflet, Team Manager-Shannon Manley, Morgan Green, Caleb Manley