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Community Supports Edison D.I. Teams

Two Edison Local School District teams on their way to the big show to compete at the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City, Mo., this week and they are expressing their gratitude to their schools and community for helping them get there.

     The Edison Jr. High School team “Us” will mark its second appearance at the international event while the first-time team of “The Baconators” at John Gregg Elementary will also attend. They will venture out west on May 21-26, where they will join 1,400 teams from around the world at the Kansas City Convention Center and events will be livestreamed on the internet. Destination Imagination, or D.I., is an educational program in which teams work throughout the year to solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions. Each participant gains knowledge and experience in areas including creative and critical thinking, project management, team building, conflict resolution, STEM, perseverance and a completion mindset. 

   Us, which is coached by Amanda Richardson, includes seventh-graders Connor Richardson, Beckett Dopp, Nathan Myers, Daleanee Devore, Lindsey Howell and Olivia Ferguson. The Baconators, which is led by coach Amber Weaver, includes fourth- and fifth-grade students Lakynn Howell, Adrianna Miller, Carson Ensinger, Cadence Bendle, Reagan Ingram and Landon Ankrom.

   District D.I. Coordinator Kelly Dopp said both teams worked hard on their projects to get ready for the competition, but they also rallied the community to raise funds. In turn, school, business and community members responded generously.

   “The teams raised a total of $36,000,” said Dopp. “It was all a joint effort [to raise funds] and we’re really appreciative. The Bergholz Community Foundation gave $10,000 and the district gave $3,600. [The foundation members] see it as a huge educational opportunity for our rural kids to go to the city and compete against kids from all around the world. The community was very generous and a lot were asking questions about what D.I. was.”

   The teams held joint tag days at gas stations in Richmond and East Springfield, a spaghetti dinner and raffles at Richmond Methodist Church and penny wars, plus they solicited businesses and organizations for assistance and more than 40 provided funds for sponsorships. Dopp said the Modern Woodsmen of America also gave a $1,000 grant for the cause.

   Baconators member Lakynn Howell said the groups kept busy serving at the dinner, which drew about 160 people, and teammates Landon Ankrom and Cadence Bendle sold Lemonade Shake-Ups during First Fridays on Fourth in Steubenville. Team members also peddled slushies at lunch during school to raise money. Reagan Ingram mentioned the school-wide penny wars, where homerooms filled buckets and could sabotage each other with silver coins. The schools raised a total of $4,800 at the conclusion.

   “Each of the classes needed to put money in to see who could get the most. The only coins that counted were pennies and dollars and silver coins deducted the amount,” Ingram added.

   “We had penny wars [that were sponsored by] the Jr. Beta Club,” said Us member Beckett Dopp.

   “It’s really appreciated,” added teammate Daleanee Devore of the many contributions.

   “We wouldn’t be able to go without it,” added Lindsey Howell.

The members of Us said they were eager to place higher after tying for 20th in their category out of 41 total teams at last year’s finals and have worked hard to fine tune their technical challenge project, “Pinball Heroes,” which incorporates a functional pinball system.

  “We’re hoping to be at least in the top 10 out of 50 teams,” said Connor Richardson.

   It is the first time The Baconators have participated in D.I. and they were excited to make it all the way to the finals. They will participate in the fine arts challenge with a skit involving a moveable art piece and crafted a story about the Egyptian Sphinx. In addition to the team and instant contests, the students can also enjoy some respite and fun at the Kansas City Quest, a city-wide scavenger hunt, as well a pin trades and a duct tape costume competition.

   Meanwhile, foundation President Amy Richards said the competition was a wonderful opportunity for the students.

  “The Bergholz Community Foundation Board found this as an exciting and unique opportunity to help children deepen their education experience.  We felt that this would provide opportunities for children that could have otherwise would go unfunded,” Richards added.

   She said the foundation has supported other district programs for three decades, including the Close Up program, Paws Pantry at EHS and John Gregg, the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), computer program, Coats for Kids and hoodie programs and assistance with art and musical instruments at John Gregg, as well as a special needs program at both John Gregg and Edison, a curriculum for the Daktronics video board at the EHS football field and support for the athletic teams.

   “Over the past 30 years, the BCF has been has funded nearly $750,000 in grants to the Edison Local School District, and this amount includes individual scholarships to graduating seniors,” she noted. “We feel blessed to be able to provide this kind of support to our community and look forward to funding future projects.  We rely on community support to further our mission and provide funding for many programs, not just education.”

   If anyone would like to become a member of the Bergholz Community Foundation and be a part of the good, visit the webpage for information at

State Test Scores Now Available in Progressbook

As part of our ongoing effort to keep you informed about your child’s academic progress, we want to inform you that you now have access to their state test score results through ProgressBook, our online student management system. The district believes that by having access to this information, you can better support your child’s academic journey and work collaboratively with us to ensure their success. If you have any questions or need further assistance with ProgressBook or understanding the state test scores, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your building.

Visit ProgressBook Parent Portal and navigate to “Assessment Scores” on the left hand menu to view your child’s scores.

Thank you for your continued partnership in your child’s education. Together, we can empower them to be prepared for tomorrow.