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Tuscarora High School is Named a Virginia Naturally School

By — Daniella Marx

For the second year in a row, Tuscarora High School has been recognized as a Virginia Naturally School. This title has been awarded to our school for our lasting commitment to environmental education and our continued stewardship of Virginia’s natural resources.

There are myriad examples of our unique contributions to the natural world. Tuscarora’s Environmental Science department has partnered with the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy to establish an official water quality site on the campus. Additionally, we have continued our work with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground’s Living Legacy Project to plant dozens of native trees every year. Tuscarora, with the help of the impassioned Dr. Westervelt, has fostered a legacy of conservation and environmental advocacy.

The program has defined itself as a paragon of innovation within these cold concrete walls. Westervelt is particularly jubilant in regards to the progress of her fledgling AP Environmental Science course, which was launched earlier this year and challenges upperclassmen to metamorphosize (like the noble Monarch Butterfly) into stewards of their natural environment.

“The students who come to this AP Environmental Science course are who students who are motivated to make a difference in the world.”

In the coming year, the Environmental Science students will be releasing trout into Loudoun streams. Her students have personally monitored the growth of the trout, from egg to mature fish. Dr. Westervelt is determined to integrate the natural world into the classroom, beyond the specifications of any award application.

She is frank in regards to the benefits of allowing students to engage with their natural world. “Students learn to be connected to their immediate environment. They understand how important water is, they understand how important air is. They develop an identity with the Tuscarora campus.”

Dr. Westervelt stands as a shining example of making a positive difference in the school setting, for both people and planet.

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