Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Advanced Environmental Studies

The recent cold snap could not put a chill on Mr. Bill Richardson’s AP Environmental Science class field trip to Welkinweir. The students learned about two keystone species (a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically) the American chestnut and the North American beaver. This plant and animal were extirpated (locally extinct) but are now returning – one (beavers) on their own, the other (American chestnut) through the dedication of scientists. 

Led by Green Valleys staff Michael Bullard, Science Coordinator and Kelsey Stanton, Watershed Restoration Specialist, the students hiked the property to see our field research project in cooperation with the American Chestnut Foundation, then around the great pond to observe the work of a pair of resident beaver – their dam, the trees they are taking for food, and their lodge.  Mike demonstrated water quality sampling techniques and measurements as well as microbiological testing. Bill worked with students to collect macroinvertebrates, one of the best indicators of water quality, from the stream.  Students worked with microscopes and a key to identify the species. Mr. Richardson said, "There is such a wealth of opportunity for eco-education right in their back yard (with Green Valleys Watershed Association).  I am glad they can get the experience from a group that really cares about it."

Students and Staff Accomplish Goals Despite Cold

On November 22, five members of the Best Buddies Club and their adviser, Mrs. Meg Wrubel, participated in the Rothman 8K Run in Philadelphia on a chilly Saturday morning.  As a first timer in this type of running experience, I was truly amazed at the “brotherly love” movement in Philadelphia.  There were many different organizations that runners were raising funds for a particular cause; ours being Best Buddies!  We met some of our fellow chapter members from the local school districts and took in the sights of the Philadelphia Art Museum and Schuylkill River as we ran up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  Please congratulate the following girls for running in this race and being a part of something that is extraordinary!
Katie Proffitt  11th grade  -Katie finished 54th overall for her gender!
Olivia Body  12th grade
Sam Pennell  12th grade
Lauryn Wensel  12th grade
Maddy Nosia  12th grade

On the same day, in Downingtown, PA, nearly 2,000 runners celebrated a chilly 5K as part of Girls on the Run, Girls on Track and STRIDE. Approximately 65 girls from West Vincent Elementary, East Coventry Elementary, and North Coventry Elementary schools ran with a buddy after 10 weeks of preparation. The Girls on the Run program is volunteer-driven. 

Girls on the Run! is a life-changing, non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade which inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Girls on the Run is an Independent Council of Girls on the Run International, which has a network of 200+ locations across the United States and Canada.

Congratulations to all the girls for completing the tangible goal of preparing mentally and physically for a 5K run. Thank you to all of our volunteer coaches! 


East Coventry  
Mary Dredge*
Paula Jackson
Jen Morgan
Danielle Ponto
Michelle Romaniello
Courtney Laskey* (junior coach)

North Coventry 
Emily Sassaman
Susan Wendel
Abby Meyers
Katelyn (Kate) Roderick*
Elizabeth Bevan*
Erin Taylor*

West Vincent Girls on the Run
Holly Kreider*
Amy LaGioia*
Marlena Harrington*
Mike Uhas*
Kristen LaMarca

West Vincent Girls on Track
Melissa Lane
Seth Lucas
Rhonda Arnold*
Janine Browley*

Monday, November 24, 2014

Laurel Wynn Making a Difference

Owen J. Roberts High School Senior, Laurel Wynn, has worked to make a difference by helping to protect women and girls from violence. Laurel researched and participated in mixed martial arts self-defense classes in order to develop a curriculum which she could share with others. She taught classes to an Owen J. Roberts Middle School girls club and girls scout troops.  She also taught workshops to high school and college-aged girls as well as women up to age 70 at various sessions at schools and her church.

To make this project sustainable she developed a free public website. Her website may be found at  www.tinyurl.com/ladies-self-defense. The website was shared with domestic abuse shelters in our area. She created a series of lesson plans teaching physical and mental self-defense for women that can be downloaded along with demonstration videos. The website also features stories from survivors she met with lessons learned from each, and statistics on violence towards women.

Laurel was aided by the other Owen J. High School students who are in Girl Scout troop 4340. Laurel thanks members of her team Jess Becker, Sarah Davies, Emily Diel, Claire Hampton, Sarah  Hampton, Tess Vanderwerf, Bryn Zoobie and Courtney Zoobie.

Laurel Wynn’s project completed the requirements which earned her Girl Scout Gold Award. Laurel is also the Executive Officer of Owen J. Roberts Navy National Defense Cadet Corps, a rank that puts her second in command of 120 fellow cadets. In addition to earning the highest rank in Girls Scouts, Laurel has been recognized by Congressman Jim Gerlach, who has nominated Laurel as the primary candidate for the Naval Academy and as an alternate for the Army Academy. (Laurel has also applied and was interviewed for the Coast Guard Academy.) 

Master Gunnery Sergeant Andrew Worley explained that an appointment to a service academy can include a scholarship in the area of $327,000 as well as job placement after graduation. Master Gunnery Sergeant Worley said, “She has worked so hard for this. She worked on her academics, her physical fitness and her public speaking.”

Owen J. Roberts Middle School students mark Challenge Day | Reading Eagle - NEWS

Owen J. Roberts Middle School students mark Challenge Day | Reading Eagle - NEWS

Class Runs Creative Fundraiser

Monkey Joe’s Kids Fun Day
Date: Wednesday, November 26th 2014
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Place: 84 Glocker Way Pottstown, PA
Price: Age 3-12: $9.99; 2 and under: $5.99

The Owen J. Roberts High School sophomore class is sponsoring a Monkey Joe’s fun day. Proceeds will support the initiatives of the 10th grade class.