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2016 National Envirothon


The State Champion Envirothon Team, David Crockett FFA, represented Tennessee in the 2016 North American Envirothon. The team traveled to Peterborough, Canada to compete in the 5-day event.


Brett Barnett, Cole Tipton, Kylee Phalen, Kenzie Bastian, and Josh Bruni pulled off an incredible feat by winning the State Envirothon. The team is the first from Northeast TN to do it. They defeated the 2nd place team by just 11 points, scroing 598 out of 700 possible points. 

Front page article of the Johnson City Press: http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Education/2016/05/17/Crockett-environmental-team-wins-chance-to-represent-Tennessee-at-National-Envirothon

Crockett environmental team wins chance to represent Tennessee at National Envirothon

TONY CASEY • MAY 17, 2016

O, Canada, here comes a five-student team from David Crockett High School’s Future Farmers of America.

Having won regional then statewide qualifying environmental education competitions, they’ve earned their right to represent Tennessee at the National Envirothon in Ontario on July 22. A team from each state, teams from Canada and Puerto Rico all aim for the ultimate prizes and top spots.

“They were extremely tickled to win such a tight competition,” said the group’s leader, Ryan Arnett, who also teaches agriculture at the Jonesborough high school. In the 23 years the Envirothon has taken place, this is the first time a Northeast region team will represent Tennessee at Nationals.

Each step along the way included tests of general environmental educational topics like forestry, wildlife, soils, aquatics and current issues. At the statewide competition in Crossville May 4-5, the current issue was invasive species: specifically, what would happen if they bought a piece of property that contained these species, and what steps they would take to combat it.

In order to win, the student team, consisting of Kenzie Bastian, Cole Tipton, Josh Bruni, Brett Barnett and Kylee Phalen, had to show off their skills in environmental knowledge, presentation, eye contact and public speaking. On a 700-point scale, determined by a panel of judges, the Crockett team scored 598 points, bettering second place by only 11 points.

Arnett said he was proud of the students on his team because they — unlike those from many of the private schools they often compete against — have so much on their plates, and still pulled out the win.

Winged Deer Park was the regional host site of the first area competition, put on by the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council. Through this organization the Crockett team of environmental scholars is raising funds to ease the financial of burden of driving 12 hours north of East Tennessee. Anyone willing to help is asked to call 423-979-2581.

Over the course of the next two months, the Arnett-led team will study as much as possible and try to prepare themselves for a top-spot finish. Each member of the winning team is given $3,000. The second-place finishers each get $2,000 and members of the third-place team each earns $1,000.

The team consists of some high-caliber academics, Arnett said, pointing out Tipton’s recent designation as a Haslam Scholarship recipient. He’ll be studying plant sciences at the University of Tennessee. “These students have been super motivated all semester, Arnett said. “They really want to go to Canada.”

Phalen talked about the teamwork dynamic and team building that is clearly working well enough to keep winning competitions. "I like it because it's all about working with the team,” she said. “You get to know each other better.”

A stop at the Niagara Falls is definitely in the plans for the trip, and they’ll also be stopping other places along the way.


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