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March 31, 2016 - 27 Valley Central students compete at Odyssey of the Mind

On March 12, students from two Valley Central elementary schools competed at Odyssey of the Mind in Goshen, New York, doubling the district’s participation rate from previous years. 


Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from Montgomery Elementary School's intermediate Odyssey of the Mind team poses with their trophy  kindergarten through college. Teams of seven students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. The teams do not receive any help from any adults.


Montgomery Elementary School and Berea Elementary School each sent two teams, a “primary” team made of students in grades one and two and an “intermediate team” made of students in grades three and four, to the event. The students who were chosen to participate were recommended by teachers and interviewed for the opportunity.


The intermediate teams were tasked with the following “long-term problem”:

Teams will build, ride on, and drive a no-cycle, recycling vehicle. It will pick up discarded items, adapt them in some way, and then deliver them to places to be re-used. The vehicle must travel without pedaling for propulsion. In addition, the driver will have an assistant worker riding on the vehicle that will help process the trash items being re-purposed. They will make an unplanned stop along the way to perform a random act of kindness.

The Berea Elementary Team used a wheelchair to create a vehicle, while the Montgomery Team took apart and re-purposed a shopping cart. The Montgomery team placed third out of seven competing teams.  


The primary teams, who were not judged on performance, each created a skit based upon the following scenario:


Teams will create and present a humorous performance about an object that comes to life when touched by an item that turns out to be magical. While it is alive, the animated object will encounter three other objects that will result in a dramatic change of behavior. There will be a narrator character that explains what is happening and a character that becomes friends with the object. The performance will also include a team-created poem, song, or dance.


 “The students chosen to participate in this process have grown tremendously as students and individuals and have proven why they were chosen as a select few,” Matthew Caninio, assistant principal at Montgomery Elementary School said. “We congratulate them, as well as all the participants, for their hard work and perseverance.”

Odyssey of the Mind teams and coaches:  

Berea Primary Team; Coach: Wanda Calderon
(Grade 1) Jordan Healy, (Grade 2) Brian Benoit, Damien DeRubeis, Jaeda McNeil Prokop, Judah Norfflet, Meghan Winter


Berea Intermediate Team; Coach: Michele Catalfamo
(Grade 3) Bo Grammer, Sam O’Brien, (Grade 4) Declan Reilly, (Grade 5) Audre Rick, Zachary Ullmeyer, Douglas Stickles, Azaziah Marshall


Montgomery Primary Team; Coaches: Lisa Goland, Christine Fredell
(Grade 1) Renato Panetta, Leah Rieber, Aiden Wright, (Grade 2) Payton Franqui, Susan Kirk, Melissa Miller, McMullen Murphy


Montgomery Intermediate Team; Coach: Gail Nozell
(Grade 3) Sophia Amchentsev, Emily Geiselhart, Samuel Mackey, (Grade 4) Eric Conero, Lilly Ellison, Amelia Lee, Andrew Murdock