County Council Honors Penncrest’s Championship-Winning Envirothon Team


This year, a group of eco-minded students from Penncrest High School’s Envirothon team were once again victorious in the county, state, and national Envirothon competitions, which test students’ knowledge on environmental science topics such as wildlife, forestry, soil, and aquatic life.

Delaware County Council recently recognized the team, along with their faculty advisors who were inducted into the Envirothon Hall of Fame.

On July 29, Penncrest’s five-member team – Rachel Hughes, Dennis Harrsch, Thy-Lan Gale, Cole Gaboriault, and Abigail Schwartz – was announced as the winner of the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon. Fifty-four student teams represented the United States, Canada, and China, and put their skills to the test at the world’s largest high school-level natural resources education competition.

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“We are pleased to have a group of students who are extremely knowledgeable about our natural resources who are dedicating to conserving and preserving our environment,” said Councilman Dave White. “Again and again, Penncrest has dominated in the Envirothon competitions, both locally and nationally. This year marks the 23rd consecutive year that Penncrest has won the Delaware County competition. Penncrest has won the state Envirothon title 13 times and the national and international title four times.”

He applauded the five students and their two faculty advisors for being good stewards of the environment.

“They are developing an understanding of the practice of natural resource management and ecology,” said White. “They are learning how best to maintain a balance between our quality of life and the quality of the environment.”

At the national competition, faculty advisors Mark Samilenko and Chrissa Kuntz were inducted into the Envirothon Hall of Fame, in recognition of their leadership and dedication to the program for nearly two decades.

At the county level, the Envirothon is coordinated by the Delaware County Conservation District, working with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Soil Conservation District, the Bureau of Forestry, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

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