JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa.; May 2, 2024 – Thomas Jefferson High School students won first place at the Allegheny County Envirothon for the second consecutive year and will compete in the statewide environmental competition in Mifflinburg, Pa. later this month.

Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD) hosted 135 high school students representing 11 school districts at the annual competition at North Park on April 26. Thomas Jefferson had four squads at the event.

The winning TJ team includes students Reagan Sanderson, Lukeman El-Hajj, Hunter Houk, Kamryn Mull and Connor McCann. Thomas Jefferson teachers Dan Giger and Brian McClain are the advisors.

Every winning student received a scholarship for academic pursuits following high school funded with support from event sponsors.

"When students participate in Envirothon, they elevate their career readiness, gain valuable professional experience before graduating and are empowered to become action-oriented citizens," said Hayly Hoch, Natural Resource Outreach Educator. "The Allegheny County Envirothon is only possible with the contributions of our sponsors who made this experience memorable for 135 outstanding students."

Envirothon is the largest environmental education competition in North America aimed at engaging local youth in natural resource conservation learning and stewardship challenges. This hands-on academic competition requires months of study and teamwork on five subject areas: soils/land use, wildlife, aquatic ecology, forestry and current issues.

Envirothon provides exposure to environmental career pathways through partnerships with the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission, Pa. Game Commission and the Allegheny County Parks Department.

Qualifying teams at the May 22 Pennsylvania Envirothon competition will advance to the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon in New York.

This year's sponsors include Frank and Dana Zokaites; Fahringer, McCarty, Grey; Civil & Environmental Consultants; Sheffler & Company; Eisler Landscapes; Markosky Engineering and Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority.

Thomas Jefferson is the high school in the West Jefferson Hills School District.

About ACCD: Allegheny County Conservation District is an urban conservation district that engages and leads through partnerships, innovation and implementation to conserve, promote and improve Allegheny County's natural resources.

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