Long Beach’s Odyssey of the Mind teams earned impressive results at the regional tournament held on March 4 at the Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School in Freeport. At both the middle school and elementary levels, groups achieved first- and second-place wins.

The elementary students were coached by teachers Justin Sulsky and Douglas MacConnell. Long Beach Middle School’s teams worked under the guidance of coaches Dayna Obidienzo, Christina Kile and Susan Kasper with assistance from high school volunteers Victoria Strickland, Tyler Collinson and Charlotte Kile. 

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. It supports the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile traits that the district emphasizes throughout its curricula. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and other countries participate in the program. For the middle school students, there is also an administrative component as students must complete all paperwork entirely on their own and in a way that supports the solution to their problem. 

The first-place winning teams will advance to the State Championships in Binghamton in April. The Middle School’s top-ranking group is comprised of Matt O'Connor, Chris Lehr, Keira Hult, Ava Rand, Jordan Collinson, Laika Khan and Orly Keynan, who solved the problem, “Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously?” They wrote an original eight-minute skit that told many sides of Lewis Carroll’s famous “Alice in Wonderland” story in a humorous documentary-style performance. 

The elementary first-place winners are Winter Collinson, Isabelle DePalma, Tabitha Freeny, Shane Haglich, Sienna Hornberger, Ryan Aba Riebli and Zachary Scouten. For their challenge, they added a twist to Peter Pan by setting it in the 1980s with a new character - a stereotypical 80s teenager - who discovered the “true” roots of the feud between Tinkerbell and Wendy.

The second-place teams solved problems that involved intergalactic science fiction hangouts. The Middle School’s team consisted of members Jack Clancy, Shayna Rivera, Grace McCarthy, Sean Sarmuksnis, Sam Rosenbaum, Ben Armus, Samantha Feingold, while Teddy Clancy, Alana Damiani, Cathy Maguire, Alyssa Mincy, Vincent Napolitano, Lucy Nash and Johncarlo Piccolino represented the elementary level.