Category: Armstrong School District

West Shamokin Teams Go 1-2 in County Envirothon

Five-member student teams from nine local schools – including Armstrong, West Shamokin and Lenape Tech – competed in last week’s Envirothon. The “WS Hydrofights” won the competition and will compete at the state competition later this month (submitted photo).


by Jonathan Weaver

A handful of West Shamokin students will put their environmental skills to the test against the best in the state later this month.

The “WS Hydrofights” won Armstrong County’s annual Envirothon outdoor competition April 27 at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center (at the edge of Manor Township).

Armstrong Conservation District ACT / NM Technician Jessica Schaub has coordinated the local competition for the past 10 years.

Before starting the local competition, Schaub – a former Envirothon competitor at Karns City High School – visited other county’s events.

“In the past, we always sent a team from Lenape Tech and the competed at Indiana County’s Envirothon, but whenever I started, we thought it would be a great idea to have one,” Schaub said. “We have a great partnership with the Environmental Learning Center.”

West Shamokin’s other five-person team “The Planarians” won second place in the competition, narrowly beating out the “Lenape Tech Warriors.”

The two teams were led by West Shamokin Biology Teacher Karen Risinger. She said most of the winning team was comprised of underclassmen.

“A few of (the participating students) went the year before, but actually, everyone on the team that won first place never went before,” Risinger said. “I was very proud of their efforts, very happy with how they worked together as a team and how they represented West Shamokin.”

Risinger has taken West Shamokin teams to the competition for the past six years, but a West Shamokin group has never won before April’s competition.

To prepare for the Envirothon, each student focused on one of the five activities before working as a group last week.

“We try to make each student be responsible for being a specialist in one of the areas,” Risinger said. “They signed up based on their areas they wanted to concentrate on – whether it was wildlife, forestry, aquatics, soil or the current issue. We reviewed a few things as a group, but mostly, the students were preparing independently.”

The first-place team will next compete in the state competition May 24-25 at Susquehanna University and Camp Mount Luther (Snyder County). An additional topic will be added to the competition later this month.

In addition to bragging rights, West Shamokin’s team will compete against teams from all 67 counties to win more than $10,000 in scholarships, prizes and awards.

EQT will pay up to $200 in expenses to help the local winners get to Susquehanna University.

The “Hydrofights” will also receive plaques from the Armstrong Conservation District during the school’s award ceremony.

Every year, about 15,000 Pennsylvania teenagers enrolled in high school grades 9–12 compete in county level competitions (a one day competition event) for the chance to go to the state Envirothon. This year marks the 33rd Pennsylvania Envirothon.

Armstrong Student Named “LEO of the Year”

Armstrong High Freshman Emily Hopper was recognized as “LEO of the year by the District 14-N Lions Club last weekend (submitted photo and information)

The Armstrong River Hawk LEO Club would like to honor freshman member, Emily Hopper, for being chosen as “LEO Of the Year.”

Hopper was honored at the District 14-N Lions Club Banquet last week.

Emily, who is also an honor student, was nominated for this prestigious award due to her active involvement in LEO this year.
She has attended and helped at every LEO sponsored event and also volunteers at almost every other opportunity that is presented to the club.

Emily is a great example of what being a LEO is all about and we are honored that a member of our club received this distinguished award.

The Armstrong River Hawk LEO Club is advised by teachers Erin Burkett and Lauren Craig, and is sponsored by the Ford City Lions