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Hood steers Destination Imagination plans on state board

During a DI competition, coach John Hood wears a cap fashioned from pasta noodle and newspaper. (CONTRIBUTED)
During a DI competition, coach John Hood wears a cap fashioned from pasta noodle and newspaper. (CONTRIBUTED)
John Hood advises his DI team. (CONTRIBUTED)
John Hood advises his DI team. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – John C. Hood’s volunteering is helping youth reach destinations they can only imagine.

Hood serves on Destination Imagination’s (DI) state board. He first worked with DI in 2000 as an appraiser. By 2003, he was his children’s team manager and his wife Angie later coached, too.

John Hood appreciates the way DI “puts decisions in the hands of the young people … who have learned that their ideas can contribute to a solution. Together with the right guidance and instruction, their ideas can result in a viable solution.”

The University of Alabama in Huntsville provides space for competitions and board meetings, held twice yearly to discuss possible improvements, update bylaws and plan for the upcoming year.

Hood defines DI as a “a creativity contest” for youth from kindergarten to college “to solve one of seven long-term challenges. They first compete among their peers at a regional meet before an audience. Challenges can involve improvisation, community outreach and dramatic and technical elements.

Madison teams compete in DI’s northern region with 43 teams across Limestone and Madison counties.

“We’re fortunate to have affiliate co-director David Thomason very involved as a DI international board member,” Hood said. This year’s challenges will involve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and “should help young people win scholarships.”

The board also is emphasizing corporate sponsorship and ways to expand DI to more students. Board members have been involved “in scripting some current and past challenges and are regular appraisers at the global competition in Knoxville,” Hood said.

Hood earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University, where his wife Angie earned a master’s degree. For 30 years, he has worked as a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman Corporation. Angie is an adjunct professor of English at Calhoun Community College.

The Hoods have been members of Asbury United Methodist Church for 23 years. His service work includes The Way rehabilitation program, Helion Lodge and the Saving Way thrift store.

For more information, visit DestinationImagination.org and dialabama.org.

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