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Funds awarded to school

By Staff | Oct 19, 2011

Dominion Resources Community Relations Manager Chuck Penn presents the $10,000 grant award to students and faculty at TCHS. (Left to right) James Tucker, Brandon Collins, Lawson VanDine, Darren Heintzman, Warren Stewart, William Wilcox, and Chuck Penn.

Charles “Chuck” Penn, Community Relations Manager for Dominion Resources, presented Tyler Consolidated High School with a $10,000 grant award at Monday evening’s regular Board of Education meeting.

The grant award will fund a scientific environmental research project, Discovery and Recovery, which will study endangered hemlock trees in Tyler County. The five-year project will involve some 120 student participants in Earth and Physical Sciences classes each year, with a total of 600 students served over the duration of the program.

“We are very grateful to Dominion Resources for this incredible opportunity,” said TCHS Principal Kent Yoho.

The primary objective of the research project is to collect data, both physical and biological, on the small isolated strands of Eastern/Canadian Hemlock trees in Tyler County. The specific focus of the research is the threat and adverse impact of the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) and climate change. The project will combine field research and classroom lessons and activities to promote understanding of the environment, the scientific process, critical thinking, teamwork, and high level math, science, and technology aptitude.

Science instructor Warren Stewart told those present, “Students will study a program that is important, timely and directly effects our local and state environment.”

The information gathered will be shared with Glenville State College’s GLOBE program (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment). The GLOBE program focuses on science education as a vehicle to make a difference in the lives and aspirations of youth/school children.

“This is a collaborative effort,” said Stewart. “Our project will help provide information to preserve the hemlock tree, as well as provide long-term educational opportunities to students.”

West Virginia is the third most heavily forested state in the nation, with 78 per cent of its total land area as forest. The Glenville State College team is run by Rico Gazal, (Dept. of Land Resources), T. Ensign (NASA Educator Resource Facilty), T.J. Cartwright (School of Education, Climatologist, Marshall University, and g. Bardwell, (Curriculum Coordinator, West Virginia University).

“We are only as strong a company as the communities we serve,” said Chuck Penn, addressing the board. “Supporting our students and academic achievement is more than good corporate citizenship. It’s an extension of who we are in the community, as residents. I’m from a small town myself, so I can certainly appreciate your efforts as educators in this community.”

Robin Daquilante and board members Linda Hoover, Jimmy Wyatt, Ken Hunt, Ralph Boone, and Larry Thomas thanked Penn and Dominion for the grant award.

“On behalf of the students, staff, and Board of Education, I would like to thank Dominion for their commitment to education,” said Daquilante. “I also want to recognize the contribution made by Sisty Walsh, whose time and assistance was instrumental in obtaining the grant for the Science department.”