2010-06-03 / Front Page

Trail, Amphitheater Honor Late Teacher

Dedicated In Memory Of Alleene Hoopengardner
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The Alleene Hoopengardner Memorial Trail for Environmental Studies was officially dedicated last month during a special ribbon-cutting held at Southern Fulton Elementary. On hand for the event were board (left to right) President Kenny Wuertenberg, Angela (Hoopengardner) Fentress, Alton Hoopengardner, Adam Hoopengardner and Superintendent Ralph Scott (right). The Alleene Hoopengardner Memorial Trail for Environmental Studies was officially dedicated last month during a special ribbon-cutting held at Southern Fulton Elementary. On hand for the event were board (left to right) President Kenny Wuertenberg, Angela (Hoopengardner) Fentress, Alton Hoopengardner, Adam Hoopengardner and Superintendent Ralph Scott (right). Southern Fulton School District officials and student body took time recently to honor one of their own with the ribbon-cutting and dedication of their Memorial Trail for Environmental Studies.

Since the original path was carved out years ago by Southern Fulton alumni Andy Meyer, the trail, now complete with amphitheater and informational kiosk, has been a long, ongoing project to pay homage to the late Alleene Hoopengardner.

A longtime high school teacher at Southern Fulton, Hoopengardner was represented at the event at Southern Fulton Elementary by her husband, Alton, and their children, spouses and grandchildren. Taking the microphone, Alton stated his wife enjoyed nothing more than going to school to teach science and about the environ- ment in which we live to the kids in her classroom.

A large Pennsylvania Conservation Corps grant aided in the creation of an amphitheater that will be used by technology and environmental studies teacher Herb Brambley in his curriculum at the elementary school. Excavation of the amphitheater was completed in November 2009. A large Pennsylvania Conservation Corps grant aided in the creation of an amphitheater that will be used by technology and environmental studies teacher Herb Brambley in his curriculum at the elementary school. Excavation of the amphitheater was completed in November 2009. “We’re here today to honor her for the job she did,” said Alton. “ ... My wife always dreamed of having a nature trail here that you all would have a chance to go out and walk on and learn with your teachers. There is no greater honor than putting her name on that sign. When you put your name on something, it’s hard to forget.”

The nature trail and amenities were paid in part by a sizeable Pennsylvania Conservation Corps (PCC) grant through the Department of Labor. Excavation of the amphitheater was completed last November, which was followed by placement of stone and railroad ties. Larry Knutson, owner of Penntrails, trained the PCC crew that was headed regionally by Paul Wilt and locally by Dave Powell.

In addition, Giant Food donated park benches constructed of recycled plastic lumber for placement along the trail. The plastic lumber used in the benches is made from recycled grocery bags, some of which were collected at the McConnellsburg store. It takes more than 12,000 bags to make a single bench.

Southern Fulton board President Kenny Wuertenberg noted one of the great things about being at Southern Fulton is there are so many great teachers. “Mrs. Hoopengardner was another great teacher that we had,” Wuertenberg stated. “ ... She took time to pay attention ... . She cared about the students much more than as a teacher. She treated everyone like family.”

Accompanying Wuertenberg during the dedication was fellow board member Pat Bard.

According to Herb Brambley, technology and environmental education teacher, the nature trail has been a tremendous effort for all those involved. “Without everyone working together as a team, we would not have been able to realize this dream ... . I want to see the students use the trail to learn, take care of it and remember this land is your land,” he concluded.

Elementary Principal Kendra Trail served as the master of ceremonies for the event.

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