TK OM Teams Travel to World Finals

Three teams from Thornapple Kellogg Schools are heading to the World Finals at Michigan State today through May 26. There are two teams from the high school and one team from Page Elementary.

The three teams qualified for the world finals by placing third or higher at the state finals held at TK Schools this spring. The Page team includes Lambitz, Schneider, Lexi Filipiak, Brecklyn VanDerMeer, Peyton Shepherd, Bennett Nieboer, and Grady Bowman. The team is coached by Ross Lambitz

Two high school teams will also make the trip to Lansing. Team members are Shelby Robinett, Rachel Shoemaker, Marian Gielincki, Whitney Ruger, and Josie DeBoer. Their coach is Reagan Gielincki. Another high school team is made up of Paige Pierpoint, Jenna Robinett, Emma Reaser, Alex Evans (who is in middle school), Lucy Teunessen and Avery Hagemann. The team is coached by Melinda Robinett.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition for students. Teams select a problem, create a solution, then present their solution in a competition against other teams in the same problem and division.

Landon explains why he loves OM. “I love acting and working with people. It’s perfect for me and I love that the answers to the problems are something you never thought they could be. I want to do this every single year.”

Bennett said OM helps him overcome anxiety. “When I first joined, I thought it was going to be more like a bunch of quizzes or something to answer questions, but that’s not it at all. It’s way more fun and the more creative you are the more points you can score. There’s no one right answer to solving the problem.”

Landon and his teammates put in lots of last-minute practices just to make sure they were ready and prepared for the world. They checked and double-checked all their props and equipment in preparation. 

“I’m definitely going to have a lot of fun,” said Max. “I can’t wait.”

The Page teammates said they have all grown as close friends through OM and hope to continue to be friends throughout middle and high school.

Two other members of the Page team, Lexi and Brecklyn said they hardly knew each other before becoming teammates. “Now we are really close friends, and we like being creative together. Every time before a performance I get super nervous, but then we rock the stage and it’s all good,” said Lexi.

Brecklyn agreed. “We’ve worked really hard and being able to go to the world finals just gives us even more confidence.”

Grady Bowman and Peyton Shepherd, also members of the Page team, said all the hard work, practices and meetings since October has paid off. “I’m excited to meet people from all over the world. It’s going to be so much fun and there’s going to be so much to do. It’s going to be so great!” said Grady.

Peyton is equally excited and said OM has taught him a lot about being a team member and working with others. He also said it’s helped him have more focus in the classroom, be more responsible and make new friends. “I’m really glad I decided to join and be part of this team. And now we get to go to the World Finals!”

All three TK teams will be in Lansing this week for all the events and competitions.