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News Release

North Dakota Announces 2014 State Envirothon High School Winners

Diane Olson

VALLEY CITY, N.D., May 15, 2014 – Bismarck High School Envirothon Team, coached by Val Smallbeck and sponsored by the Burleigh County Soil Conservation District, received top honors at the 14th Annual North Dakota State Envirothon Competition, a problem-solving natural resource competition for high school students.  Bismarck High School team members are: Thadd Hall, Emilee Lachenmeier, Jordan Bushaw, Jessica Bushaw and Rachel Nelson. This year’s envirothon was held at Crystal Springs Bible Camp on May 7-9, 2014. 

“It’s always rewarding to see how much the students learn from these competitions,” said Diane Olson, envirothon coordinator for North Dakota.  “They truly leave here with more knowledge about the environment and about natural resources.”

Bismarck High School scored highest on the Wildlife and Forestry Trails. Sargent Central High School scored highest on the Soils Trail.  West Fargo High School, coached by Sara Forness and sponsored by the Cass County Soil Conservation District, took top honor on the Aquatics Trail. Team members are: Tyler Follman, Megan Delaney, Jessica Schnell, Melissa Pederson and Aubrey Wagar.

Second place went to Minot High School, which is coached by Joe Super and Shannon Bushnell and sponsored by the Mouse River Loop Regional Envirothon. Team members are: Reagan Zarr, Lindsey Bertsch, Rachel Dostert, Allison Rabe and Brandon Christman.  Third place went to the Sargent Central High School, coached by Kenan Layden and sponsored by the Wild Rice Soil Conservation District. Team members are: Taylor Wyum, Hailey Hamilton, Joshua Christianson, Brandon Wyum and Marcus Mahrer.

“The yearly envirothon is an effective educational tool,” said Olson.  “It helps our schools nurture environmentally aware students and meets the immediate need to educate more students about natural resources.”

At the hands-on testing sites, 85 students challenged their knowledge and skills as they walked through four diverse outdoor trails.  Each team gave a 10-minute oral presentation before a panel of three judges.  Based on the scores from the presentation and the testing trails, the judges determined the top three teams.  The leading teams went on to present their oral presentations before a new, five-member judging panel.  The five-member panel determined that the Bismarck High School Envirothon Team will represent North Dakota at the Kansas Heartland Regional Competition at Rock Springs 4-H Center on July 21-25, 2014.

The Envirothon is sponsored by the Sheyenne James RC&D Council and the Coalition for Conservation and Environmental Education, in partnership with local, state and federal agencies and organizations, private businesses and Soil Conservation Districts.  For more information, contact Diane Olson.