This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Charles County Envirothon. The program allows high school students to study the natural world while learning hands-on, practical skills in the areas of aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and an annually changing fifth topic related to the environment. This year’s fifth topic is Adapting to a Changing Climate.
This year, Henry E. Lackey High School’s Team 2 collected 367 points and will represent Charles County in June. At the state level, Team 2 members will compete against teams from high schools throughout Maryland. Team 2 of Lackey is made up of juniors Faith Rothell, Casey Klinger, Tiwaloluwa Dapo-Adeyemo, Simone Melson and Beatrice Koffi. The team is coached by science teacher, Amanda Hastings and Thomas Fawcett, academic mentor.
La Plata High School’s Team 3 racked up 363 points to come in second place, with Team 5 of Maurice J. McDonough High School earning 357 points to place in third.
A problem-solving academic competition, the Envirothon caps off a school year spent gleaning knowledge during seasonal trainings at the Charles Soil Conservation District.
Some students go into the trainings ready to soak up additional knowledge like those enrolled in the CASE program housed McDonough — most of whom are interested in having a career in agriculture or likewise industries.
“This is something that’s very related to what we are doing, and it peaks a lot of the students’ interests,” Paige Bennett, McDonough senior, said. “We have a lot of people with different backgrounds in agriculture. Everybody kind of has their own thing.”
Other students join because the activity is tangentially connected to their interests. That would be students like Taylor Rozell, a North Point High School senior, who is in the school’s Academy of Health Professions — Certified Nursing Assistant career and technical education (CTE) program. She doesn’t describe herself as the outdoorsy sort, but science has become a big part of her academic life. “I sort of got roped into doing it,” Rozell said of participating in Envirothon. “But I’m learning a lot.” She counts forestry as her favorite topic in the program.
The Envirothon is made possible through grant funding from the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts. Special guests Aggie Higdon and Polly Zimmerman were invited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the program. Higdon, a former conservation district employee, first brought the Envirothon to Charles County three decades ago, while Zimmerman was one the first coaches for the program having taught at McDonough.
Lackey’s Team 2 will represent Charles County at the Maryland Envirothon on June 15 and 16 held at the Western 4H Park in Garrett County. If the team advances at the state competition, the members will travel to Canada’s Mount Allison University in Tantramar, New Brunswick, for the North American contest July 23 to 29. Students participating in next year’s Envirothon will begin training in October. Click here to learn more about the Envirothon program.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.
CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).