Kitty Hawk Elementary School team advances to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Iowa

Published 8:01 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The incredible journey of Kitty Hawk Elementary School’s Odyssey of the Mind (OM™) team continues as the students have advanced to participate in the OM World Finals at Iowa State University from May 25-28.

The team, comprised of seven fifth grade students, placed in the top three at the OM Regional Competition on February 26 at First Flight Middle and High schools, then followed up that spectacular performance with third place honors at the State Competition at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee on April 2 to advance to the upcoming World Finals in Ames, Iowa.

Representing Kitty Hawk Elementary School (KHES) and the entire northeastern North Carolina region are Wade Benton, Lily Casias, Holden Hudspeth, Lars Lang, Joe LoCicero, Kaitlyn Schwartzenberg and Quinn Wisecarver. Coaches for the team are Elizabeth Hudspeth, Cindy Benton, Jennifer Casias and Felisha Lang.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

Odyssey of the Mind competitions teach students how to develop and use their natural creativity to become problem-solvers. For the 2022 competition, teams created performances about a young person enjoying a regular life in our world until one day, they wake up to discover they somehow were transported into a circus world. In their solutions, teams integrate original characters, as well as stage and drama elements, including lighting effects, puppetry and elaborate set changes. To learn more about this KHES OM team and its journey to the OM World Finals, visit

“Our team has worked incredibly hard to get to this point,” said Elizabeth Hudspeth, lead coach of the KHES squad. “Since October, the students have come together multiple times each week after school to prepare for this competition and have a true appreciation of what it has taken to reach the World Finals – teamwork, commitment, dedication, and a positive outlook. It’s an incredible honor and experience for them to represent their school, the coastal North Carolina region, and entire state at the highest level in Iowa.”

To help offset the significant transportation, lodging and meals expenses, as well as competition entry fees, the group is asking the local community to consider supporting their efforts through several fundraising initiatives. Their fundraising goal is $20,000. For details, visit

Monetary donations may be made online via MemberHub (via KHES PTA) or Venmo (@khesodysseyofthemind). Checks should be made payable to Dare County Arts Council and include Odyssey of the Mind on the memo line. Mail checks to Dare County Arts Council, P.O. Box 2300, Manteo, NC 27954

Fundraising events for the group include a Pigman’s Bar-B-Que fundraiser on Monday, May 16 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at 1606 S. Croatan Hwy in Kill Devil Hills and a Stack ‘em High pancake dinner fundraiser on Thursday, May 19 from 5:3-7:30 p.m. at 3801 N. Croatan Hwy in Kitty Hawk.

Pigman’s will donate a portion of all sales from that day to benefit the KHES OM team. For the pancake dinner, purchase a $10 ticket at the Stack ‘Em High location in Kitty Hawk, cash or check only. Call 917-418-9151 for more details.