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Parkway Elementary School 8th Grade Odyssey of the Mind Team Places 6th in World Finals at Iowa State

By Paul T. Choate

Left to right: Alex Mancini, Max Schlenker, Shelby Reagan, Cole Funk, Hannah Dallas and Mary Seramur. Photo courtesy of Lynn Schlenker

May 28, 2012. Parkway School’s 8th Grade Odyssey of the Mind team placed 6th out of 64 teams at the World Finals this past week in Weird Science – Division II. The team competed with middle school teams from China, Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and India, as well as other teams from the United States.

This marked the first time that a Watauga County school made it to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals since 1989. The competition featured 24,000 students from 26 different countries.

Lynn Schlenker, coach of the team, said typically teams that make it to the World Finals have a lot of experience in competition. The Parkway team has been together for four years and this was their first time qualifying to represent North Carolina at the World Finals.

“To be a first year team, these kids just knocked it out,” said an enthusiastic Schlenker.

The community helped the team to raise $9,000 so they could attend the world finals.

In addition to competing in their long-term and spontaneous problems, they attended the Odyssey of the Mind 2012 Graduation Ceremonies for those who missed their own school’s graduation in order to attend the World Finals.

The team is made up of 8th graders Hannah Dallas, Cole Funk, Alex Mancini, Shelby Reagan, Max Schlenker and Mary Seramur.

The Odyssey of the Mind World Finals were held May 23 to 26 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more information, visit odysseyofthemind.com/wf2012/default.php