Students Grow Their Learning in Environmental

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Environmental Science students took a short trip to the front of the school on November 8th to plant trees. This activity was in partnership with an organization called Journey Through Hallowed Ground which plants native trees along the Scenic Byway from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania down to Thomas Jefferson’s former home Monticello, in Charlottesville, Virginia. They aim to plant as many trees as there were soldiers who lost their lives during the Civil War which is a total of 620,000. The founders of this organization go to environmental classes, such as our own at Tuscarora High School, and work with the teachers to plant trees on their campus. Dr. Westervelt, a profound teacher and environmentalist at THS, works with this program and enjoys working with her students to make a difference in the world along with this program that’s helped our campus plant trees since 2016. For students, planting trees is quite enjoyable. Sami Rashid, a junior at THS, planted trees with his first block class and said, “It was fun getting to do something I hadn’t done before. I really enjoy learning outside and doing new things in this class that help the environment.”

  Tuscarora was just awarded the Virginia Naturally School award by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that recognizes high schools that teach environmental stewardship with excellence. Criteria for this include administration support, much of the school is involved in environmental education, community based projects are evident, partnerships with programs to better the environment, and the school itself is conserving energy. Dr. Westervelt considered getting this award, “Quite an honor,” and voiced her thoughts when asked about what inspires her, “It inspires me to keep going and make a difference in the world.” Due to the science department, but more specifically, the Environmental program at THS, teamwork has been achieved to be able to meet these standards and it’s paid off in order to receive this award.

  As far as school’s environmental program, it is growing rapidly. The ways that we’ve demonstrated environmental stewardship on our campus since the opening of THS, in 2010, shows that even more impressive growth is in our future.