A team of students from Stephens County High School wins the state Envirothon Championship.
The Stephens County High School “Red” team recently won its third state title in the last six years at the Georgia Envirothon State Championship held recently at Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville.
Stephens County High School Envirothon Team Coach Dr. Terry Seehorn said Envirothon is a competition dealing with topics such as the environment and natural resources.
“The kids have to learn skill sets like how to identify tracks and bird calls and things like that, trees, soil profiles,” said Seehorn. “It is just a lot of things they have to learn to do.”
The state champion “Red” team consists of Bailey Taylor, Ben Byrd, Kelsey Vanderhoef, Connor Roberts, Amber Mills, and Brittany Grier.
Seehorn said this team has done an amazing job.
“It is a teacher’s dream to get students who are extremely motivated and these guys, I ask a lot of them,” said Seehorn. “They basically study from the beginning of January all the way through the state competition. They put a lot of work in, just fantastic students.”
The “Red” team had the highest score in three of the five categories and finished second in the other two, scoring 427 points overall.
Overall, Seehorn said the “Red” team not only won, but did so by an impressive margin.
“They finished 27 points ahead of the next closest competitor,” said Seehorn. “A normal margin is anywhere from 1 point to maybe 10 points winning at that competition. It is akin to winning a baseball game 9-2 or something (like that).”
The “Red” team was not the only team from Stephens County High School to finish in the top five at the state competition.
Stephens County High School’s “Black” team, consisting of Abner Munguia, Savannah Bourne, Taylor Pruitt, Missy Dutka, and Chris Mace, finished fourth in the state.
Seehorn said the “Black” team consisted entirely of Envirothon rookies and calls their performance an astounding and amazing accomplishment.
“It is pretty much unheard of for a rookie team like that to place in the top five of the state competition,” said Seehorn. “It just really does not happen because the skill sets they need and the knowledge they need is something that does not come about that quick. These five kids just work so hard.”
The assistant coach for the Stephens County High School Envirothon Teams is Derek Demmler.
Next up for the “Red” team is representing Georgia in the North American Envirothon this August in Montana.
Seehorn said the Georgia Envirothon Council will partially fund the team’s trip to Montana, but additional funds and sponsors are needed. Individuals and businesses wishing to help are encouraged to contact Seehorn or Demmler at Stephens County High School.