West Jeff team advances to state Envirothon contest

The winning team at the 2023 Southwest Ohio Envirothon was from West Jefferson High School in Madison County. From L to R: Brent Gardner (Team Captain), Matthew Chmil, and Charles Stephens.

(Posted May 2, 2023)

A team of students from West Jefferson High School placed first among 45 teams in the Southwest Ohio Envirothon on April 28 at Camp Friedlander in Loveland.

The Envirothon is a competitive, academic, outdoor team event for high school students that takes place annually. The event tests students’ knowledge in aquatic ecology, current environmental issues, forestry, soils, and wildlife. It is designed to stimulate and reinforce students’ interest in natural resources while encouraging cooperative decision making, team building, and problem solving.

At the regional competition, Madison County was represented by four teams made up of students from West Jefferson High School (advised by Mike Harkleroad) and Tolles Career & Technical Center (advised by Mike Liston and Cathy Mehl). All of the teams prepared for the event through in-class curriculum study and a field day with natural resource experts hosted by the Madison Soil and Water Conservation District.

At the regional level, teams are made up of three members from the same school and, though each student contributes his or her personal best, the score that counts at the end of the day is the team score.

By taking first place, West Jefferson Team 2 secured a spot at the State Envirothon Competition to be held in June at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. Team 2 includes team captain Brent Gardner, Matthew Chmil, and Charles Stephens. Two additional West Jefferson students will join these three at state where teams of five compete.

“The Madison Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) would like to recognize them for their hard work and commitment to conservation education, as well as all the teams that competed in this year’s Envirothon,” said Julia Cumming, SWCD program administrator.

The mission of SWCD is to enhance and sustain the soil, water, and related natural resources of Madison County through partnerships with others to provide educational programs, technical assistance, and funding.

For more information about conservation events and volunteer opportunities, visit www.madisonsoilandwater.com or call (740) 852-4003.

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