Badger student spends 13 years in Destination Imagination

HARTFORD – Nash Timko, a 2016 Badger High School graduate, has achieved the distinction of being the first Badger student to be part of Destination Imagination for all 13 years of his public school education.

Nash, son of Daryl and Robin Timko, said he started in DI because his older brother, Sam, now 22, had been in DI for three or four years, and he saw what it involved.

In his 13 years, Timko has advanced to state competition seven times and in 2009 went to the global finals in Knoxville, Tenn., where he competed against 2,000 students.

”Globals are an amazing event. There area teams from all over the world,” he said.

Timko said the 13 years in DI were ”an investment that really paid off.”

”The premise of Destination Imagination is you get a challenge and come up with a story to meet the requirements of that challenge. I always enjoyed doing that. It was a like a fun puzzle,” he said.

Timko said his mother encouraged him to be part of DI.

”It is a really good program and a lot of fun to do. It helps you think a lot more creatively,” he said.

Timko started in kindergarten as a Rising Star, a program for K-2 where teams compete at the regional level but are not judged for advancement.

Timko said he remembers his first year with Rising Stars at Youngstown State University, where he had just finished performing on stage.

”I had just finished my lines for the skit, and I was so proud that I remembered all the words. As I was walking off, I literally walked off the stage and landed in a pool of wire. The judges watching commented that I was able to hold my composure,” he said.

Timko said as he got older – in eighth and ninth grade – the program became challenging because of other in-school and after-school activities

“I kept doing it because I had been at it for so long, and it became like an investment, ” he said.

Timko competed with DI teams as large as seven members and as few as only two. One of his Badger DI teammates had served almost as long as he did – nine or 10 years, he said.

“My teams have always done the scientific challenge, which included structural or technical challenges, “Timko said.

He said one third-grade level challenge was to pick a myth from another country and show by experiment that the myth could not have worked or happened.

Timko said the team chose Australia and was a kangaroo for the skit, placing fourth.

Over the years in skits, Timko has played the part of jester, narrator, ship’s captain, king, astronaut and even Capt. Hook.

“With DI, you have to work the solution to your challenge into an eight-minute skit,” he said.

Timko said his two-member DI team did ”Project Outreach,” which involved community service and a skit to raise awareness about a disease that took the life of one of Timko’s friends.

Timko’s senior-year DI event involved building a moving vehicle by using a leaf blower. Timko said the challenge qualified for state competition, but he was not able to attend.

Timko, who will attend Mount Union University in Alliance to study English, said he plans to return as a DI team coach or adviser just as his mother has been. His brother has also helped.

“The DI program really helps you think outside the box. It promotes creativity, teamwork and team building skills,” he said.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com