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Local students head to ‘Destination Imagination’ state tournament 

The Whoozers, participating in Improv. Left to Right: Harmony Houdyshell, Ella Gomez, Curran Bojorquez, Amani Arellano and Sam Gomez.

The Whoozers, participating in Improv. Left to Right: Harmony Houdyshell, Ella Gomez, Curran Bojorquez, Amani Arellano and Sam Gomez.

Five teams participating in the tournament

–Five teams of Almond Acres Charter Academy students are headed to the Destination Imagination state tournament in Sacramento on April 1. Destination Imagination is an international project-based program that helps prepare students for success in school, in careers and in life. The program blends STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education with the arts and social entrepreneurship. Ålmond Acres, offering program as an after-school enrichment class, is currently the only school in North County that participates in Destination Imagination.

This is the third year Almond Acres has participated in the program. The local teams will be joining other Central Coast region teams at the tournament.  The school is sending three Elementary level teams and two Middle School level teams. All five teams competed on Saturday, February 25 in the Central Coast Regional Tournament held at Arroyo Grande High School and qualified to advance to State. The teams are:

  • Tri-Force Heroes (Elementary level): Hannah Bourgault, Van Ogorsolka and Lucas Vertrees; competing in the Project Outreach/Service Learning Challenge
  • Gummy Bear Destroyers, Elementary level): Hunter Crout, Luke Kahler, Tate Pritt and Reagan Schmitt, and Eder Vargas; competing in the Technical Challenge
  • Super Spy Tech (Elementary level): Lauren Fash, Talen Freitas, Ezra Gomez, Jack Hamon, Kenichi Parkhurst, Hayden Perhach and Kailea Stoltzfus; competing in the Science Challenge
  • Magnetic Musketeers (Middle School level): Chloe Dawes, Emily Griffith, Stella Ogorsolka, Hobie Smith and Zoe Smith; competing in the Technical Challenge
  • The Whoozers (Middle School level): Amani Arellano, Curran Bojorquez, Ella Gomez, Sam Gomez, Harmony Houdyshell and Alivia Vogtmann; competing in the Improvisation Challenge



Middle School Level, Technical, The Magnetic Musketeers, participating in Technical. Left to Right: Hobie Smith, Zoe Smith, Stella Ogorsolka, Emily Griffith and Chloe Dawes

Almond Acres Charter Academy is a public, tuition-free K-8 school that employs credentialed teachers and administers state-mandated testing to provide families in North San Luis Obispo County an additional choice in public education. The school is located in San Miguel and is open to all students in all communities. The school’s mission is to help students succeed academically and socially by educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul.

Founded in 1982, Destination Imagination (DI), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is cause-driven to ready students worldwide for college, career, and life beyond school through opportunities that promote and support creativity, imagination, contextual learning, arts appreciation, STEM-based skills development, and entrepreneurship leading to an engaged and future-ready student population. Learning how and when to be creative, how to build cross-cultural teams, how to manage budgets and risk, how to present a compelling proposal, and how to manage a project from beginning to end will provide students with the necessary skills to become the next generation of problem finders and solvers, innovators, cross-cultural collaborators, entrepreneurs and leaders.



About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at