Conservation for a Cause


Kimberlee Jancaitis-Martinak

Team picture after competing at locals.

Ellen Rosson, Copy Editor

Students are given the opportunity to jump into a wide variety of competitions, whether it is athletics, speech and debate or envirothon. 

Teammates: Holleigh Wright, Allison Allen and Marena Raines present their special topic speech. (Kimberlee Jancaitis-Martinak)

This year’s Envirothon team has nine members: Sawyer Harris, Allison Allen, Darrin Coleman, Annie Dwyer, Escarlet Hernandez, Eve Palmer, Marena Raines, Sam Shull, and Holleigh Wright. Out of the team, only Holleigh Wright and Eve Palmer are returners. The two were able to lead the team with their past experience, and, together, their drive to work hard and show up, secured themselves a spot in the regional competition. 

“I love competing in envirothon, it is one of my favorite things,” senior Eve Palmer said. 

The team practices every Friday after school. Envirothon gives students the chance to come together and collaborate for a larger cause, learning valuable skills that will help carry them throughout life. Students gain knowledge about the environment and make connections with teammates along the way.

“I would say the best part about Envirothon is definitely the friendships you make, but also the way you can learn about the environment in such a fun way,” junior Holleigh Wright said.

Students focus on five different categories: Soil/Land Use, Aquatic Ecology, Forestry and Wildlife and Current Environmental Problems. To prepare for competitions, team members are assigned a section to study. Envirothon is not an individual competition but a team one.

“At practice, we learn a whole bunch,” envirothon Coach Mrs. Kimberlee Jancaitis-Martinak said.“We go outside, have guest speakers, sometimes even go off campus for district training.”  

The team focuses on what they find the most interesting to help through competitions. An important thing to note is that not everyone has to know everything, they just have to know something.

“I really enjoy studying forestry, which is like trees, leaves and stuff like that,” junior Darrin Coleman said.

After learning in practice, the team carries it over to competitions. Competitions will have a five to six page test for each section, followed by an optional special topic that is different from year to year and an oral presentation that is researched and prepared by the team. The oral presentation is 20 minutes and is usually a problem-based question that fits into one of the main categories.

“This year, our current topic is Waste to Resources, which means we are talking about trash, recycling, poop and brown fields,” Mrs. Jancaitis-Martinak said. “It is a really broad topic, but it is really interesting.”

Coach, Kimberlee Jacaitis-Martinak and Team member, Marena Raines at the local water treatment facility. (Kimberlee Jacaitis Martinas )

The team’s drive to show up and work together paid off at the districts, giving the team the ability to advance to regionals at the end of April. Overall, the team placed second.They also placed first in forestry and second in wildlife, aquatics, soils, and oral presentation, combining for the final score. As the regional competition approaches, the team works together to finalize their speeches and polish their knowledge. At their final practice, the team will present their speech Thursday morning before heading to regionals this Saturday.

“I have high hopes for our team as we head to regionals,” Envirothon Coach Mrs. Jancaitis Martinak said.


May 2 Follow up: Hard work and dedication pays off for the Envirothon team! The regional competition took place this past Saturday and the team placed first over nine other teams. The team also received third place for special topic as well as aquatics, and first place for forestry, wildlife and oral presentation. 

The team alternates placed above competitors in soils and the special topic.

Huge shoutout to Coach Kimberlee Jancaitis-Martinak and Mr. Horne for leading the team and the team themselves: Eve Palmer, Darrin Coleman, Marena Raines, Allison Allen, Holleigh Wright, Escarlet Hernandez, and Sam Shull for their win.

States will take place in two weeks on May 15 and May 16. Best of luck at the upcoming state competition.