15 August 2019

Commissioners present certificates to Carmichaels Envirothon Team

Pictured (l. to r.): Commissioner Dave Coder, state Rep. Pam Snyder, Commissioner Archie Trader, Christina Adams, Ryan Swartz, Stephen Zacoi, state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, Commissioner Blair Zimmerman and Fred Morecraft.
During their Aug. 15 meeting, Greene County Commissioners presented Certificates of Recognition to members and advisors of the Carmichaels Area High School’s Envirothon Team and congratulated the team for their impressive efforts in competitions this summer.

After winning the local Envirothon competition in May and the state Envirothon competition in June – both for the second consecutive year – the Carmichaels team, led by team advisors Kevin Willis and Megan Patton and comprised of students Christina Adams, Jacob Hair, Joey Kurincak, Ryan Swartz and Stephen Zacoi, represented the entire state of Pennsylvania – also for the second consecutive year – at the 31st NCF-Envirothon competition held July 28-August 2 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

During this competition, the Carmichaels team impressively placed third overall against 53 other competitors from 47 states, eight Canadian provinces, one Canadian territory and two Chinese provinces. 

At Envirothon competitions on all levels, five-member teams participate in a series of field station tests that focused on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues. 

The teams also prepare and deliver oral presentations to panels of judges who evaluate each team on its problem-solving capabilities, oral presentation skills and recommendations to help solve a specific environmental challenge.

Teams participating represent the best and the brightest of the thousands of high school teens who have competed in county Envirothon competitions sponsored by conservation districts from across the state. The Carmichaels Envirothon team was sponsored by the Greene County Conservation District.

According to information provided by Willis, the team was in first place before the final presentation with a score of 567.17 out of 700 possible points, which made the team members First Round NCF-International Envirothon champions. Following the final presentation, the team received an impressive overall third-place finish.  

The team members were awarded a scholarship of $5,000 ($1,000 each) for this third place finish out of 53 teams from the United States, Canada, and China. They also received a plaque, medals, and a gift basket.

The team had the second highest Forestry score with an 87 out of 100 (high score was an 88), the second highest Soils score with a 64.5 (high, 69), fourth highest Wildlife score with an 88 (high, 93.5) and fifth highest Aquatics score with a 91.5 (high, 96.5).

Due to prior scheduling commitments, Willis, Patton and team members Kurincak and Hair were not able to attend the Commissioners’ meeting. The three remaining team members, Swartz, Adams and Zacoi, joined Carmichaels Area High School Superintendent Fred Morecraft and Principal Lisa Zdravecky in accepting the certificates on their behalf. 

“Our school district is awfully proud of these students and advisors, and I’m sure everything they’ve accomplished has been a great experience for them,” Morecraft said. “I thank our officials here today for recognizing their achievements.”

Commissioners were joined by state Rep. Pam Snyder and state Sen. Camera Bartolotta in presenting the students with certificates and citations.  

Commissioners commended the team members and advisors for their accomplishments.

“We are in awe of what they have been able to achieve and how much dedication they have all put into this team and the local, state and international competitions,” said Commissioner Blair Zimmerman. “This team – the students and the advisors – didn’t just make Carmichaels and Greene County proud with their success … they are proudly representing us across the state, across the United States and around the entire world as a gold standard in these competitions.”  

Commissioner Dave Coder added that the team’s achievements is another strong example of how educators can make a positive difference in the lives of area students.

“The Carmichaels Area School District and Mr. Willis have clearly shown their commitment and dedication to the school’s Envirothon program, and it’s obvious that the students involved with the program receive a tremendously valuable education,” Coder said. 

Commissioner Archie Trader said the Board of Commissioners “congratulates the Carmichaels Envirothon team and advisors for their amazing achievements, and for making Greene County very, very proud.”