Donations Approved For Wicomico School Teams

SALISBURY – More than $3,000 is expected to help several school teams in Wicomico County travel to national and global events this year.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Board of Education voted unanimously to donate $3,300 to various school teams to help offset travel expenses to national and world competitions.

A donation of $2,400 will be used to assist eight Destination Imagination (DI) teams travel to Global Finals at the University of Tennessee later this month.

The DI program is a nonprofit organization in which teams select one of several open-ended challenges in the fields of science, technology, engineering, fine arts, improvisation and service learning to solve and present at tournaments.

Susan Bounds, the Wicomico County Coordinator of Destination Imagination, said 16 DI teams from Wicomico County competed at the Maryland State Destination Imagination Tournament at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in April. Eight of those teams, she noted, have qualified to compete in Global Finals May 21-26.

“It is a worldwide program,” she said. “Forty-eight states and 30 countries participate. There will be 1,553 teams at Global Finals in the elementary to university level competing.”

Bounds told the board DI teaches students how to research, solve and present solutions to problems.

“The important thing I want you to know about DI is that DI teaches students how to think, not what to think,” she said. “It makes it unique, it makes it rewarding for the students, and rewarding for those who enjoy their creative and unique solutions.”

Wicomico High School junior Becky Aydelotte told the board this will be her second trip to Global Finals in eight years.

“As a team, we’ve grown so much in the last several years and have been successful and had great memories,” she said.

Teammate and Wi-Hi senior Kainat Imtaiz told the board joining DI improved her self-confidence.

“DI has done so much for me personally,” she said. “My confidence level has basically sky-rocketed. I wouldn’t be able to be up here right now if it wasn’t for DI.”

Teammate and Wi-Hi senior Jeffrey Dumpson added that DI helped him to make more friends and develop new skills.

‘It’s made me more confident and imaginative,” he said. “It’s helped me through tough times as well. It’s really fun to be a part of the program.”

Bounds and members of the DI team from Wi-Hi thanked the board for their support.

“It’s because of that support we have the structure to enable 30 teams to form each year,” Bounds said.

The school board on Tuesday also approved a $600 donation to Parkside CTE’s SkillsUSA team, who will compete at the National Leadership and Skills Contest in June, and a $300 donation to Wicomico County’s Tec Tigers VEX Robotics Team, who qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship competition in Louisville.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.