James Pinsky: Steadfast Sherando High School heads to states

James Pinsky

Life’s real simple sometimes. You can’t win if you don’t try.

Sherando High School’s Envirothon team certainly tries – hard.

The Virginia Envirothon is a team-based natural resources competition for high school students. Students who participate learn stewardship and management concepts and work to solve real world environmental problems. The program is field-oriented, community-based and gives students an opportunity to work with natural resource professionals.

Unfortunately, in the first round of competition, Sherando High School fell a little short of the local championship. They finished second at own Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District Envirothon competition held April 5. Still, second place got them to the next round.

That next round was the Area I Envirothon competition, which was Wednesday at Natural Chimneys Park in Mt. Solon, Virginia. The Envirothon competition got a lot harder though, with the best teams from Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Page, Fredrick and Bath counties all vying for three tickets to the state championship, known formally as the Virginia’s Dominion Envirothon State Competition, which is scheduled for May 21-22 at Virginia State University in Petersburg.

Yes, the Warriors still had life, but did they have the stamina to reach Petersburg? There was only one way to find out.

All day long in the shadows of Natural Chimneys, students, every single one of them full of want to and optimism, tried their best to make it to Petersburg. They dueled in the academic arenas of aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and this year’s environmental issue, agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship.

Additionally, the teams were required to conduct an oral presentation for a panel of judges by formulating a strategy to address a specific environmental issue they had been presented with earlier in the academic year.

The competition was fierce since only the top three teams go to Petersburg, sort of.

Officially, Fort Defiance High School placed first; followed by Eastern Mennonite School, and Luray High School. However, the top three teams advancing to the state championship must each represent different Soil and Water Conservation Districts from the Area I competition. This meant Sherando High School was in! Like I wrote earlier: life’s real simple sometimes. You can’t win if you don’t try.

Sherando High School from our own Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District will join the Area I overall champions, Fort Defiance High School, representing the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, and Eastern Mennonite School, representing the Shenandoah Valley Soil and Water Conservation District at the Virginia’s Dominion Envirothon State Competition, in May.

I can’t wait to find out if the Warriors have anything left for Petersburg.

I’m betting they do.

Go Warriors!

James Pinsky is the Education and Information Coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. Contact him at 540.465.2424, ext. 104, or james.pinsky@lfswcd.org.