PINE RIVER — A trio of Destination ImagiNation teams from the Pine River School District headed off to Knoxville on May 24 for the Global Finals Competition there, and came back with heads held high.

An email from Susan Stoll said it all, and well. “Wow! What an amazing experience it was to participate in the D.I. Global Finals.

“My Project Outreach team 23rd out of 41 teams. To hear the stories of these incredible teams from around the world was a truly humbling experience,” she said.

“Our other high school team finished 33rd out of 41 teams, and our middle school team finished 26th out of 45 teams,” she added.

She noted that there “were teams from most states, as well as several Canadian provinces, China, Korea, Turkey, Poland, England, Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia, Brazil, and Scotland. Our students loved meeting and interacting with students from around the country and the world.”

When the students headed for Knoxville, it was not without fanfare. The Pine River Band played loud and well, sending them to victory. When it was time to come home, the feeling of some students was said to be a wishing they would have done better, but it was obvious that if three of the district’s 11 teams all made it to the Global Finals at all, it was awesome.

In fact, Stoll’s team had originally been told it didn’t place in the top three to qualify for the Globals. Then a call came once they were back home to say they did qualify by eight-tenths of a second, and did, indeed, need to be packing and practicing because they were going to Knoxville.

Placing 23rd in competition that pitted 41 teams against one another all of Global caliber is nothing to hang a collective head over, nor are the other two placings by any means.

Stoll’s senior level team included Josh Ecker, Kaitlyn Armstrong, Cuyler Huffman, Stephanie VanAvery, and Jessica Stonto.

Edie McCarty’s senior level team was made up of Jenna Peterson, Devyn Powell, Kara Justin, Jenny Wickens, Amber Peppey, Samantha Hall, and Lauren Kassuba.

The middle level team of Steve Blackrick and Terry Beaudet included Maerissa Eldred, Jason Thompson, Robyn Peppey, Wade Fullerton, Jaime Moore, Taya Treiber, and Stephanie Ashcroft.