The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

October 31, 2013

Grand River Academy students win first place honors in county tree identification competition

AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — It is 10:30 on a Friday night. Most students at Grand River Academy are tucked away in their dorm rooms, settling down to sleep or watching movies on their computers. For the six students who participated in the annual Tree ID competition, it was less than a quiet night. Katy Studer, biology teacher and adviser for the competition at Grand River Academy, excitedly roused the students out of their sleep with knocking on bedroom doors and yelling, “First place! We got first place!” Many high fives and hugs were handed out in the blur of elation and exhaustion. This was the second time Grand River Academy has won first place in this competition, and the fourth time the academy team placed in the top three.

The competition took place four days earlier on Sept. 23. Six teams from Lakeside High School, Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus, Geneva and Pymatuning Valley high schools gathered in the Ashtabula River Gulf near the Smolen Covered Bridge. The goal has remained the same over the past 12 years, educate the area’s youth about the beauty and diversity of the Ashtabula Gulf. Each year the students have two hours to correctly identify 25 to 31 trees. Grand River Academy’s team included captain Isaac Seger-Brown, Elpidio Amoussou, Andrew Abdelmessih and Ben Triulzi, class of 2014; and Jon Butler and Scott Sender, class of 2015.

Amoussou said, “Tree Identification was a great experience, it was educational, it was fun to be out in nature in the serene peace and quiet instead of the hustle and bustle of boarding school, but most importantly it was amazing being able to work with the team and as a team to accomplish something for ourselves, the school and simultaneously helping the community. It was a blast.”

His statement summed up how the team felt following the competition. It was a daunting task and many of the members felt they had difficulty. If you were to ask anyone on the team later that Monday how they did, the answer would have been very different than the results. There are so many trees and primal beauty in the Gulf it was easy to be overwhelmed, and the looming clock running slowly down to 0 enhanced the pressure, the team was able to correctly identify 23 of the 31 trees.

Text Only
School Columnists
  • Grand River Academy reporter GRA graduates offered thousands of dollars in college scholarships

    With the class of 2014’s graduation on May 24, seniors at Grand River Academy celebrated a 100 percent college acceptance rate. Students from many different backgrounds have had a year full of college applications, standardized testing, and periods filled with anxious waiting for college and university acceptances. Some may have applied to as few as two schools, others applied to as many as 16. Ranges of colleges include small liberal arts schools to large state schools, highly ranked universities to community colleges. While students may choose different paths to reach their goals, all have the opportunity to begin that path by attending college.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeside High School reporters Lakeside fund-raiser for cancer research has personal impact on those who have loved ones with the disease

    Every color of the rainbow was seen at Lakeside High School this month. The first Lakeside Loop, “Color for Cancer” took place on May 9 in honor of many special causes. Students could be seen racing around the campus, covered in various shades of powdered paint. Each participant possessed a personal story regarding his decision to take part in the event.

    May 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jefferson High School reporters Jefferson High School students join with elementary classes for Friendship Walk activities to teach healthy eating, fitness

    The second week of May marks Wellness Week for the elementary schools of Jefferson Area School District. For an entire week the elementary students put a special focus on eating healthy and getting active during the school day. The students participated in a plethora of events including walks to the high school football stadium, games and outdoor activities, and listening to speakers from the Ashtabula County Health Department, as well as a physical therapist, on nutrition and taking care of the body. To make this week even more fun, district nurse Peggy Savarese, along with the faculty of Jefferson high school and Jefferson elementary school worked together to plan an event called the Friendship Walk.

    May 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • A-Tech A-Tech students learn practical tips on managing their personal finances

    The Social Studies Department at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus held their annual “Personal Finance Week” May 5 through 9. The week is designed to give students real-world experience in finance including their credit reports and credit score, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts and retirement savings, purchasing an automobile and obtaining a loan, the advantages and disadvantages of renting and buying a home, and obtaining a mortgage loan.

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pymatuning Valley High School Academic Boosters host breakfast for PV honors students

    Principal Dan Jackson in accordance with the Pymatuning Valley Academic Boosters hosted an annual Principal’s Breakfast to honor high academic achievement. Qualifications include being on the honor roll for the first three nine weeks, which means students must have a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average. Students must also have at least a 95 percent attendance record along with maintaining a clean discipline record. Students who meet the requirements then receive an invitation for both themselves and their parents in the mail.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. John School St. John seniors enjoying final days of high school

    Senior year is such a bittersweet time in one’s life. It is a huge milestone as well as a great accomplishment. There are so many things going on. As the end of the year is rapidly coming to a close, it is finally becoming surreal. The last month at school at St. John is all about the seniors.

    May 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Geneva High School Save lives by donating blood at GHS drive

    Geneva High School is giving its students and the community a chance to make a difference by giving blood today. Every two seconds, someone in America needs a blood transfusion, and just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Geneva High School’s blood drives have earned it second place out of the high schools in northern Ohio for donations. This year, adviser Jessica George hopes to finally beat Sandusky High School, which has been number one for the past 10 years.

    May 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edgewood Senior High School Edgewood introduces new STEM program

    Edgewood Senior High School conducted its first ever STEM Fest on Wednesday in the Edgewood cafeteria. This “science-fair” based activity was held to introduce the new academy program that will be in effect next year. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The science and math departments conducted projects and experiments to take part in the fest.

    May 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand Valley High School reporters State-mandated evaluations a new way for teachers to set goals, review their students' progress

    Among the several other new additions to the Grand Valley High School this year are the Student Learning Objectives, otherwise known as SLOs. Student Learning Objectives are state-mandated evaluations to determine the proficiency with which students learn the material of the course. Essentially, they are goals teachers set for their students, and at the end of the school year, they reflect how well each teacher accomplished these goals.

    May 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Conneaut High School reporters Conneaut National Honor Society members celebrate spring with trip to the 'windy city'

    On April 25 Conneaut High School National Honor Society students ventured to Chicago. The trip was organized by NHS adviser Emily Wacker. Students returned home early in the morning on April 28. Despite the students being exhausted from the trip, they enjoyed many unique activities. Those who were not afraid of heights rode the ferris wheel at the Navy Pier and saw a spectacular view of Chicago from high in the sky. The John Hancock Observatory also provided one of the best views of Chicago and its skyline. A boat ride on Lake Michigan was also a highlight of the tour.

    May 8, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video