School news

World Champions!



A team of fifth-grade students from Frostwood Elementary recently competed in the Odyssey of the Mind (OM™) competition held at Iowa State University.

Winning over 60 teams from across the country and world, they earned the designation of World Champions in the Elementary Division for their solution to the OM™ Problem 3 challenge titled “The Classics…Opening Night Antics.”

The OM™ problem required the team to write a play where things go wrong on opening night, incorporating a theme from classic literature. Choosing Pride and Prejudice's "Don't judge a book by its cover," the team created a play with favorite children's book characters, including Elizabeth Bennet, who come to life and switch stories.

Months of after-school meetings led to a performance where the characters had to tell each other’s stories, highlighting teamwork and empathy. Inspired by Stratford High School’s “The Play That Goes Wrong,” the team’s performance was praised by coach Sarah Fuselier for its life lessons and creativity.

Problem-solving program

The Odyssey of the Mind program teaches students creativity, teamwork, budgeting, time management, and public speaking — essential life skills. "OM™ provides valuable experience because teams are everywhere," said fifth grader Cat Fuselier. "It takes time and cooperation, but it’s worth it for the memories and friendships."

A challenging journey to become World Champions

To compete at the OM™ national level required some challenging ‘firsts’ from the six-student team from Frostwood Elementary:

  • Winning first place at the Houston Area Regional Competition
  • Achieving first place in the state competition held in Denton, Texas, where the team was also awarded the prestigious Renata Fusca Award for Creativity — “The essence of Odyssey of the Mind,” according to Fuselier.

Each fifth-grade Frostwood OM™ team member—John Adams, Harrison Angel, Crystell Chu, Catherine Fuselier, Jane O’Shay, and Thomas Pennington—contributed to the World Champion performance by developing costumes, writing scripts, and creating backdrops. “It feels amazing to win the World Championship,” said Thomas Pennington. “I’m lucky to have a supportive team and coach.”

Despite challenges like a derecho storm in Houston, a delayed flight due to a tornado, and a stormy night at Iowa State University, the team remained resilient and focused.

They won as a team

"They really learned to prioritize the team over the individual," said Fuselier. "Fifth graders have a lot of emotions, but these kids stayed focused on their solution and worked together no matter what. A key part of scoring is teamwork, and they can look back proudly on lifting each other up when it counted. They brainstormed, built, and solved as a team—and they won as a team!"