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Tyrone students recognized for Environmental Awareness Contest

The May 2 awards ceremony for the Blair County Commissioners 10th Annual Environmental Awareness video contest had a distinctly Tyrone feel to it.
That’s because five groups from the Tyrone Middle and High School earned recognition in this year’s competition, including two first place winners and a sweep of the senior high division.
Seniors Seth Kobuck, Ian Rhoat, Mike Garbinsky and Matt Parks, students in Eric Feather’s digital video class, took top honors in the senior high division for their commercial entitled “Recyclable Massacre,” while in the middle school division sixth graders Spencer Mazer, Tim Crabtree and Madison Stauffer earned first prize for a video called “Hobo Recycling Award.”
For their efforts, both groups received $500 and an all-expense paid trip to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. They were awarded plaques and photographed with the Blair County Commissioners at the awards ceremony held Tuesday at the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg.
“It was only three years ago that Dr. Rebecca Erb (high school principal) first made the purchases and supplied the training for our teachers and students to be able to use digital video, and it’s amazing the results we’ve seen in that short period of time,” said Kerry Naylor, the gifted enrichment teacher at Tyrone Middle-High School, who advised the sixth grade winners.
In 2004, the first year Tyrone students used digital video technology for the contest, one group of sixth graders earned an honorable mention, while last year a sixth grade group took second place, with a senior high group taking an honorable mention.
That pales in comparison to this year, when five of the six groups entered from Tyrone merited recognition.
It was most dramatic in the senior division. Along with Kobuck and Stager, two more groups from Feather’s DV class were place winners: Zach Yeaton, Kylie Grassmyer, Katie Glace, Cynda Ormsby and Phil Pellegrini took second place with their video “Recycling Issues,” and Ben Stager, Chris Bradigan and Tim Stibitz were third with “Mr. Bottle Recycles Right.”
“I’m extremely proud of all of the students for putting their creativity, knowledge and effort into a worthwhile project. It’s very satisfying to see all of their talent and hard work rewarded in this way. It’s a tremendous honor,” said Feather.
In the middle school division, sixth graders Morgan Decker, William Mills and Skyler Yanchick bolstered their classmates’ victory with an honorable mention finish for their video “Superbowl Party.”
The contest is a program run each year through the Department of Solid Waste and Recycling. The department selects a theme, and students around Blair County develop 30-second advertising spots to promote the concept.
This year’s theme was “Recycle, Right,” which lent itself to several interpretations that came out in the Tyrone commercials.