Purple pride goes global

Submitted by James Jensen, Barberton City Schools

Barberton High School’s Purple Pride team has taken second place in the world at the Destination Imagination Global Finals.

It was eight years in the making, but the team realized their ultimate dream of walking the stage for their award in the service learning challenge. They were up against 55 high-school-level teams from around the country and around the globe. The team members, Sydney Young, Jeremy Struckel, Macy Debevec and Michael Debevec, are all seniors at Barberton High School. The team’s community project has been to fight hunger in Barberton by providing meals and groceries for our community members in need.

Their performance at global finals highlighted the projects they had accomplished in the community. Jeremy and Macy played the roles of an egg and a bag of flour that came to life to mirror the sibling rivalry happening in their story between a brother and sister played by Sydney and Michael. Part way through the performance, a robotic milk carton turned to the audience and actually spoke some lines.

The team used coding to program the milk carton, even syncing the voiceover to the movement of the mouth on the carton. The appraisers were so impressed, the team received an additional honor, The Renaissance Award, given for excellence in engineering. Behind a good team are good team managers. Mick and Carla Debevec have been with Purple Pride from the beginning and needless to say, are very proud of their accomplishments.

Seven Barberton teams compete

Joining Purple Pride at DI Global Finals were six other teams from Barberton City Schools. The Purple Penguins Get Tied Up from Barberton High School also competed in the service learning challenge in the secondary level. Their community outreach problem was to provide resources needed for the Barberton Pregnancy Center.

Team members are Heather Kriston, Heaven Stillings, Michaela Querry, Mackenzie Hoffman, Celeste Sprouse, and Payton Hoffman. Their managers are Ken and Treasure Kriston and Danielle Hoffman.

2 Legit To Quit, a Project Outreach team from Barberton Middle School, shared their project about providing resources and wreaths for veterans. Team members are Aidan Taylor, Olivia Teagle, Andrew Miller, Lulu Kemp, Madison Mitchell, and Logan Mitchell. The team managers are Susan Kemp and Lisa Mitchell. Rounding out our Project Outreach teams was The Purple Dragonz from Barberton Elementary East. Their community project was to visit and provide blankets for the residents of a local nursing home. Team members are Luke Gordon, Ava Speedy, Tyler Smith, Elizabeth Scott, Aiden Smith and Alaina Wiles. The team is managed by Beth Smith and Tara Gordon.

Teams get scientific

Two teams competed in the scientific challenge. I Can’t See My Eyebrows From Here used their encryption skills to solve a mystery in a clever Scooby-Doo parody. The team members, all sophomores at Barberton High School are Courtney Kemp, Brevan Mitchell, Jaycee Lappin, Nelson Velo, and Jamie Matheson. The team is managed by Chris Mitchell and Sheila Velo. The Purple Crumbs Stuck In Your Moustache, a team of fourth-graders from Barberton Elementary East, used their decoding skills while sharing an interesting story about St. Patrick and a quest for hidden treasure. The team members are Quinn Moore, Cassie Moore, Wyatt Slater, Haley Lorenzo, Cade Kelley and Sophia Samples. The team managers are Dawn Moore and Andrea Tomer.

The Noodles Farewell Tour, all seniors from BHS, competed in the Fine Arts Challenge. They used their acting skills to tell a colorful, yet dark tale of greed and betrayal using technical theater methods. The team members are Max Long, Olivia Adams, Christopher Mitchell, Maycee Hurd, Zachary Wilson, Celeste Gable and Noah Vega. The proud team manager is Jim Jensen.

Barberton Destination Imagination thanks the community for rallying behind them and providing the financial backing needed to make their trip possible. Special thanks to the Barberton Community Foundation and to the Barberton Board of Education and administration for the ongoing support to keep Barberton DI going strong.

Purple Pride second in the world: Front: Michael Debevec and Carla Debevec; Back: Mick Debevec, Sydney Young, Macy Debevec and Jeremy Struckel.

The Purple Dragonz: Alaina Wiles, Ava Speedy, Aiden Smith, Luke Gordon, Tyler Smith and Elizabeth Scott.

The Purple Crumbs In Your Moustache: Cade Kelley, Quinn Moore, Cassie Moore, Sophia Samples, Haley Lorenzo and Wyatt Slater.

The Purple Penguins Get Tied Up: Mackenzie Hoffman, Celeste Sprouse, Heather Kriston, Heaven Stillings, Michaela Querry and Payton Hoffman.

The Noodles Farewell Tour: Max Long, Zachary Wilson, Maycee Hurd, Olivia Adams, Christopher Mitchell, Celeste Gable and Noah Vega.

I Can’t See My Eyebrows From Here: Jaycee Lappin, Nelson Velo, Courtney Kemp, Brevan Mitchell and Jamie Matheson.

Many students from the Barberton City School District attended Destination Imagination Global Finals with Mr. Jensen.

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