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MMI Preparatory School captured the top three places in the virtual Luzerne County Envirothon competition.

MMI’s first-place team of Darren Zheng (captain), Louis DeAngelo, Hunter Blasko, Dominique Kline, and Violet O’Connell will advance to the state competition.

MMI captures top three places in Envirothon competitionThe team of Rachael Betz (captain), Keiran Mele, Olivia Bartholomew, Connor Spencer, and Sandra Abdulrahman placed second. The team of Kathryn Sissick (captain), Nathan Sissick, Nathaniel Neidlinger, Blake Warren, and Diane Arias-Tejeda finished third. MMI had a total of 10 teams compete in this year’s event.

MMI science instructor and Envirothon advisor Michael Mele said, "I'm always impressed when 50 students voluntarily take on extra studies outside of the normal curriculum. I appreciate the fact that our students had this opportunity and look forward to the future of the Envirothon program at MMI." 

The Pennsylvania Envirothon is one of the state’s largest natural resource education competitions. It provides thousands of students with the knowledge and tools necessary to address the natural resource challenges facing today’s world.  

During the competition, five-member teams participate in a series of field station tests that focus on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues. Additionally, the teams complete an oral presentation that provides them with the experience of developing a presentation from start to finish that is based on a written scenario. The testing station and oral presentation scores are combined to determine the winning team.

The first Envirothon competition was held in 1979 by the Fulton, Luzerne, and Schuylkill conservation districts and by 1984, the program expanded to a statewide competition and then nationally and internationally. Now, more than 15,000 high school students across the state compete in 67 county Envirothons.

Darren Zheng is the son of Hongzhi and De Zheng of Jim Thorpe, Louis DeAngelo is the son of Grete and Aaron Floryshak of Sugarloaf and Louis DeAngelo of Hazle Township, Hunter Blasko is the son of Mark and Susan Blasko of White Haven, Dominique Kline is the daughter of John and June Kline of Mountain Top, Violet O’Connell is the daughter of Michael and Genevieve O’Connell of Coaldale, Rachael Betz is the daughter of Amy Houm of Tamaqua and Richard Betz of Honesdale, Keiran Mele is the son of Michael and Laurie Mele of Jim Thorpe, Olivia Bartholomew is the daughter of Dean Bartholomew and Cheryl Serafin-Bartholomew of Jim Thorpe, Connor Spencer is the son of Christopher and Christina Spencer of Mountain Top, Sandra Abdulrahman is the daughter of Jihad and Basema Abdulrahman of Hazleton, Kathryn Sissick is the daughter of Jeffrey Sissick of McAdoo and Michelle Mendofik and Thomas Edwards of Drums, Nathan Sissick is the son of Jeffrey Sissick of McAdoo and Michelle Mendofik and Thomas Edwards of Drums, Nathaniel Neidlinger is the son of Amanda Neidlinger of Weatherly, Blake Warren is the son of Rebecca Warren of Beaver Meadows and Richard Warren of Danville, and Diane Arias-Tejeda is the daughter of Angela Tejeda of Hazleton.

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