ERHS receives top honors

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 18:10
Students and staff in the Structured Learning classroom at Eagle River High School pose after receiving an award for their recycling efforts on April 29. Pictured, from left front row, are: Andrea Jusino, Noelani DeLeon, Amelia Arnes, Chase Bailey, Ilia Fleener and Curtis Lemaire. On end in front is Tammy Essary. In back from left: Alaskans for Litter Prevention & Recycling executive director Mary Fisher, Alaska Dispatch News gardening writer Jeff Lowenfels, and ERHS special education teacher Melodie Radcliffe. Other participants, not pictured, are ERHS students Ian Armstrong, Harleigh Hunt, Amber Mauger and Tanner See, and teacher’s assistant Ana Girbacea.

The students and staff in the Structured Learning classroom at Eagle River High School received top honors in the school division from the Alaskans for Litter Prevention & Recycling at its annual awards banquet April 29 in the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. Thirteen students and five staff collected and sorted enough plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles from the school’s garbage this year to fill more than 150 industrial-size garbage bags, taking time each day after lunch hour for the project.

“It teaches them a lot of responsibility toward taking care of what we have to make it last,” said Tammy Essary, an ERHS special education teacher’s assistant who works alongside the students while collecting recyclables. “This is what I tell the students: If we don’t do it, nobody is going to do it.”

This 2014-15 school year is the second year for the recycling program at ERHS.

Mary Fisher, ALPAR executive director, said the ERHS program is an inspiration.

“We know it’s not done by magic but by the enthusiasm and effort of the students, teachers and staff at Eagle River High who help make their recycling program a habit and an A-PLUS lesson in stewardship for the environment,” she wrote for the banquet’s program.

Learn more about the ERHS recycling program online at Learn more about ALPAR and the other recycling awards for 2015 online at

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