CV-TEC Students Back in Action at New York State Conservation Competition

CV-TEC Students Back in Action at New York State Conservation CompetitionPAUL SMITHS — Since this school year started, Jen Parker has wanted her students to feel like they are having as normal of an educational experience as possible.

As everyone  knows, the pandemic changed the way schools operate and took away certain opportunities and events. But Parker, Co-Teacher in the CV-TEC Environmental Conservation & Forestry program, along with others, helped break down previously existing obstacles.

A perfect example of these efforts was seen at the New York State Conservation Competition held this May at Paul Smith’s College.

“As a teacher, you want to have as many opportunities available to students,” Parker said.  “You want them to embrace the opportunities put in front of them and run with it. Our students did just that at the competition and took away valuable experiences.”

The New York State Conservation competition started in 1985 and provides conservation students the opportunity to visit educational institutions and earn future scholarships as  they continue their education.

More than 200 high school students across New York from 15 technical centers participated in 28 different events at Paul Smith’s College.

These events covered a wide variety of skills from hands-on equipment operations, chainsaw operations, surveying, forestry, hand tools and more. Several events test their knowledge in areas such as tree and wildlife identification.

This was the first year the competition was held since the pandemic began, so there was  certainly plenty of renewed energy and excitement.



In collaboration with Paul Smith’s, CV-TEC hosted this year’s event and began the planning process in January.

“Our main goal was to get these kids back into it,” Parker said. “Not only was it good for them, it was good for us as well as teachers.”

The organizers wanted to make sure the event was improved and offered students
cutting-edge opportunities to showcase their skills, which in some cases were quite literal  depending on the event one may be referencing.

“Every year we start the planning process, and we have always been so supported by the school administration,” Parker said. “We are grateful for that. It just exemplifies that  students are our first priority.”



There were plenty of winners from both the CV-TEC Plattsburgh Campus class taught by  Parker and Josh Pierce and the CV-TEC Mineville Campus class taught by Chris Huchro and Erik Manning. The teachers were proud of their students, and several
CV-TEC CTE and academic teachers were involved in the planning and implementation of these successful events.

“Our students walked away feeling like they were very successful,” Parker said. “It just  shows in the results. I don’t think they realized the importance of it until it was done. The only knowledge they had was what we could simulate beforehand. Going in and not  knowing, they had to take a risk and step out of their comfort zone. That was pretty rewarding for them on its own.”

To make the event even better, Paul Smith’s College handed out over $54,000 in  scholarships to event winners.

Laying the foundation for future educational success is what the contest centers itself on, and there is sure to be continued success at next year’s event that will be held at SUNY Cobleskill.

“We are so happy that we got to get back to some normalcy,” Parker said. “What is the  most rewarding aspect of all this is the success and learning experiences our students had. At the end of the day, that’s what matters the most. We want to provide the chances for  them that open pathways and allow for endless opportunities.”


Read the full “Annual Report” here.

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