Going APES over new space


Seniors Alexis Koladycz and Sarah Jackson measure soil in the new greenhouse. “We were trying to determine the quality of the soil,” Koladycz said. “It was really cool because you don’t think about soil having so many qualities, but there are actually a ton.” Talon photo by Lea Von Toerne

Daphne Lynd


Hands streaked with dirt, Kathleen Cutting works on her soil lab measuring pH levels with colorful tabs filled with chemicals in the new greenhouse that sits on the roof.

The 2016 bond granted the AP Environment Science (APES) program a new space, one that came with a rooftop greenhouse, a new classroom, and a garden.

“It was crazy because we had gone from such a small space to something super spread out and it was really cool,” said student aid Hannah Paul, who took APES last year.

APES teacher Tony Strohmeyer designed the new space choosing everything from the tall tables in the classroom, to the chicken wire fence outside.

“It’s definitely an honor – l felt validated for all the work that I’ve done In this program in the last eight years,” Stohmeyer said.

Cutting is one of the first to use the greenhouse, while last year’s APES students used a portable perched on the outskirts of the campus.

“It’s really cool that we have it at our school, it’s a good opportunity, and I’m glad I can be part of it,” Cutting said. “There was one weekend where we came for service hours, and we planted a bunch of things.”

Strohmeyer and Alisa Salvans, who teaches two periods of APES along with Chemistry, think the upgraded space has made a difference in students work ethic.

“It promotes group work and conversation because they’re kind of facing each other as opposed to just facing the front,” Strohmeyer said. “We use the space more efficiently, so I think we’re getting things done.”

The greenhouse is also meant to benefit the surrounding community by offering fresh fruits and vegetables to to the district.

“We’re going to transport them to certain elementary schools and donate them into their garden program like Mohawk and Dover elementary,” Strohmeyer said.

Once the three required sciences have been completed, students are given a choice for a fourth science, and many choose APES, even though it’s extremely rigorous.

Senior Alyssa Dumler said Strohmeyer, nicknamed “Stroh” by his students, makes the class worth taking.

“He really relates to what he’s teaching, and he actually practices what he teaches,” she said. He takes saving the environment very seriously, and he does that in his home life too, so in the class it makes it really easy to relate to him because he actually draws in to real life situations.”