Maharishi School

Winners at Destination ImagiNation Global Finals

        Maharishi School teams set a new record for their school, the state of Iowa, as well as the nation. No other town in the U.S. had as many teams place so high in the top ten. For the first time ever in this type of competition an Iowa school garnered a first place trophy. In addition, for the second year in a row, a team came home with a second place trophy. Another team placed sixth and one came in tenth out of 54 teams.

       The first place team competed in the "Mystery Loves Company" challenge, Middle Level. World Champion members are Maharishi School eighth graders: Michael Cook, Zach Nichols, Ben Pollack, Elise Nelson, Tasha Blitz, Wes Dearborn, and Jeremy Jones.
      Maharishi School's Secondary "TechEffect" team gave an incredible performance, setting the standard for the central challenge scoring. The members of this 2nd place team are: Aaron Hirshberg, Sam Rosen, Ryan Huggins, Lynn Harvey, and Michael Cook.
       Maharishi School's fifth grade girls placed sixth in their challenge, "Anonymously Yours." Team members are: Sheila Higgins, Ellora Hans-Price, Jessica Pollack, Yelana Loiselle, Emily Wofford, and Talia Winningham.
       Eighth graders placing 10th in the "Anonymously Yours" challenge are: Divindy Grant, Tracy Clark, Eric Soth, Kirsi Marcus, Sam Ashelman, Athena Abrams, and Melissa Huffsmith.
      Also competing at Global Finals were the state champion "TripliCity" team, tenth graders: Shane Bellmer, Milo Winningham, Josh Denbaum, Aaron Hirshberg, and Lynn Harvey. This team placed 15th out of 50. 
      Mark Headlee, teacher at Maharishi School, coached all five teams.

       Deanna Jens, Iowa State Director for Destination ImagiNation, reports "When other people ask why the teams from Maharishi School do so well, I tell them that although Maharishi School does not specifically incorporate D.I. into the curriculum, everything Maharishi School does supports creativity. It is my perception that Maharishi School students live and breathe creativity in all they do."
       An estimated 17,000 team members, officials, and supporters attended the Award Ceremony held Saturday evening, May 26th at the Thompson-Boling Arena at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Eight hundred forty teams from 12 different countries completed three days of competition in the five different challenges: "IncreDIble TechEffects", "Anonymously Yours", "Mystery Loves Company", "Triplicity", and "DInamic Improv". Each challenge offers competition at four age levels: Elementary for grades 3-5, Middle for grades 6-8, and Secondary for grades 9-12, and University for college/military. In the first three age levels, each team competed against 50-60 other teams. Only the top 6 teams are acknowledged at the Award Ceremony although every team who qualified to compete at Global Finals was already a state champion. The winners of 6th through 2nd place were announced for each age level for each challenge, extending the suspense for the first place winners. The Award Ceremony was broadcast live over the internet. The ceremony concluded with indoor fireworks and a laser show.
       For more information about the Destination ImagiNation program visit their web site at

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