Environmental Engineering students receive Promising Practice award


Maria Newton

Junior Harper Stewart hands junior Caroline Dunn a raffle prize, a Menchie’s gift card. “[The] Puerto Rico [concert] took a lot of long hours, tears and hard work, and having someone else recognize that fact and congratulate us for it outside of the West community was incredibly humbling,” Stewart said. “It reminded me of how all that work was funneled into a project that did so much good, whether that be the money we raised or the awareness we brought to the West community specifically about Puerto Rico and their struggles”

Anna Pavlisin , Staff Writer

As soon as Assistant Principal Kate Piffel heard about the Environmental Engineering students’ project for Puerto Rico, she knew they were a great contender for the Promising Practice award from character.org.

”I am always trying to pay attention to the different activities that are occurring here,” Piffel said. “The main criteria [for an award] is how well the activity is based on the 11 National Principles of Character [Education]. The other criteria are uniqueness, the ability to replicate the idea and clarity and completion of the narrative.”

Although junior Harper Stewart was not expecting the interview to lead to anything, the students won the award.

“I honestly did not think it would come to anything, but here we are,” Stewart said. “We did the event not to gain attention, but to bring awareness and money to the people in Puerto Rico who were suffering post-hurricane Maria.”

Each year Amy Van-Matre Woodward’s Environmental Engineering class conducts a service project to help the community and environment.

“Last year, all we did was collect food items, but this year it was really big,” Van-Matre Woodward said. “We brought in almost $1,500 to send to Puerto Rico.”

Stewart, along with junior Dani Fischer, are hoping for future classes to do other big projects to help charities.

Most of our ‘team’ is graduating, something that is bittersweet [for] sure,” Stewart said. “However, me and Dani Fischer, my partner in crime for the event, have already been discussing other potential charities and causes we would want to help. More to come on that soon… either way though, both of us definitely want to see another event like PWest for Puerto Rico in the future.”

Parkway West has received four Promising Practice awards, including this newest one.

“[The awards] show how our students and staff are doing an amazing job of implementing core values both in and out of the classroom, usually without even realizing it,” Piffel said. “We have amazing students at West, and this award is just a testament to that. These kind of things are happening all the time at West.”