DI Team Heads to State


Mallory Kaster, Senior Staff Writer

Girls Basketball is not the only Notre Dame team heading to State this year. NDA’s Destination Imagination (DI) will be making its fourth state appearance in a row.

DI is a creative problem-solving program that has been at NDA for five years. It involves teamwork, imagination, critical thinking and creativity.

“It is all about finding different ways to complete projects and doing more than just the ‘ordinary,’” junior and DI member Kristy Shuck said. “Students in kindergarten through college can participate. Every team picks one challenge to work on and they perform their solution for the challenge at the tournament.”

According to Shuck, DI has 6 different central challenges every year. There is the technical challenge, scientific challenge, theatre/arts challenge, improvisational challenge, structural challenge, and service learning challenge.

There is also a Rising Stars program for children in grades kindergarten through second. It is non-competitive. Each team is anywhere from 2 to 7 members and picks one of the 6 challenges to do.

In addition to the central challenge, there is something called an instant challenge. The instant challenge can be technical or theatre-based. “You never know what you’re going to get!” Shuck said.

The team practices instant challenges throughout the year, but they receive one they have never done before at the tournament. NDA has one team in the technical challenge, and one team in the improvisational challenge. Both of them will be going to State this year, Shuck said.

The State competition is on April 12 at UW-Stevens Point, where it has been for over 10 years. The global competition is in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Shuck said. “You get to not only meet teams from all over the country, but from all over the world. Three years ago, a technical team made it to Global Finals and placed 1st in the central challenge among teams from all over the world!”

Junior Karlie Hornberger says she loves DI because it has had a huge impact on her life.

“I have been in [DI] since 3rd grade at St. Bernard’s and it has given me a unique opportunity for self-confidence and creativity that is not always found in school,” she said.

Hornberger is a member of the improvisational team.

“We are given the general outline for the challenge and have the opportunity to practice different scenarios. At tournament, we are given entirely new elements to work with and create a skit in five minutes,” she said.

“The improve challenge this year involves makeup, a historical character, a contemporary profession and a pandemonium element that the characters need to deal with.”

Shuck’s mom, Teresa, has been coaching DI for 12 years. She believes she has coached 22 teams total, which says how much she loves DI.

“Coaching at NDA is both great and sometimes frustrating,” Shuck said. “The kids and staff are great to work with, but it is a challenge finding space and meeting times that don’t conflict with other things… DI kids are very busy!”

“We have also had students sign up the past two years who have not been very committed to DI and that hurts their team, which is unfortunate.  However, the two teams going to State are amazing and I am VERY proud of them!”

Kristy said that having her mom as the DI moderator and the team manager (coach) of her team has been interesting.

“I have been in DI for 11 years and my mom has been my team manager for almost every year,” she said. “But it’s really fun to have her as a coach. She expects a lot from me, not only as a DI participant, but also as her daughter. She really knows what she’s doing. She is so passionate about DI.”

Mrs. Shuck said IB students can also count DI for CAS hours.

Mrs. Shuck said she would love to see more DI members. “More students should definitely give it a try. It’s a lot of fun!”