2009-04-30 / Local & State

Christian School Cleans Up At Envirothon

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

Pictured, left to right: Eric Cromer, chairman Fulton County Conservation District board of directors; Connie Burgan, Tower Bank marketing director; Seth Gordon, Ryan Mellott, T.J. Leedy, Andrea Leedy, Vicki Tomlinson and Carolyn Hollenshead, academic advisor. Pictured, left to right: Eric Cromer, chairman Fulton County Conservation District board of directors; Connie Burgan, Tower Bank marketing director; Seth Gordon, Ryan Mellott, T.J. Leedy, Andrea Leedy, Vicki Tomlinson and Carolyn Hollenshead, academic advisor. Five members of the Fulton County Community Christian School known as "The Elites" wowed judges with their knowledge of the general outdoors and environment and took home the gold during the annual Fulton County Envirothon held last week at Cowans Gap State Park.

Teammates Seth Gordon, Ryan Mellott, T.J. Leedy, Andrea Leedy and Victoria Tomlinson led by advisor Carolyn Hollenshead garnered a first-place victory in the Fulton County portion of the one-day event held on Tuesday, April 1. Organized by the Fulton and Franklin County conservation districts, the event is geared toward testing student knowledge of the environment while simultaneously increasing awareness of issues around the world and the effects of human actions on those interrelationships.

A total of 37 teams competed from the two-county region, with teams consisting of five high school students who prepare throughout the winter months by studying provided materials and, if they're fortunate, meeting with local environmental officials.

Areas tested during the Envirothon include aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and current events, which included this year's special topics of "Biodiversity in a Changing World."

Agency personnel assisting in the aquatics division testing were Anthony Quarracino of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat and Andrew Stottlemyer, Franklin County Conservation District. Bureau of Forestry officials Ray Miller, Mike Kusko, Zach Roeder and Dave Scamardella oversaw the forestry portion of the day's testing, while Mark Ely and John Greenawalt of USDA National Resources Conservation Service led the soils station.

Under the category of wildlife, officers Kevin Mountz, Justin Klugh and Barry Leonard of the Pennsylvania Game Commission aided in testing, and Fulton County Conservation District employees Scott Alexander and Seleen Shives led students through the current issue. In addition, Cowans Gap State Park naturalist Beth Garner conducted a nontesting station, and Greg Reineke of the county Conservation District led Envirothon advisors through a session.

The Fulton County competition was cosponsored by Tower Bank, which was represented at the event by Connie Burgan.

The Elites as well as the first-place Franklin County team from Chambersburg Area Senior High School will move on to state competition next month on May 19 at Bald Eagle State Park in Howard. The winning team at the Pennsylvania State Envirothon will travel to the Canon Envirothon held later this summer in Asheville, N.C.

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