PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 2017
CONTACT: 
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant
jcrusco@holyangels.org

Trout Raised in AHA Classroom Released into Saddle River

Demarest, NJ: They’re free! The trout that were living in Erica Pritchard-Cunningham’s environmental science classroom at the Academy of the Holy Angels have been released into the Saddle River. This trip to Rindlaub Park marked the culmination of this year’s Trout in the Classroom program.

Pritchard-Cunningham deemed the program a success. 

“We had a large die-off early in the year, but have two remaining trout,” she said.  “Although this does not seem like a success, the students’ knowledge and experience in the program is the purpose, not the ‘number.’  Although we lost most of our original fish, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish & Wildlife was able to restock our tank with about 50 new fingerling trout.”

Students cared for the fingerlings until the very last moment. The day of the release, the students carefully packed the trout into water-filled coolers for safe transport. When the group reached Rindlaub Park, Pritchard-Cunningham slowly added some water from the river to the coolers containing the fish.

The students worked in groups to complete a bio-assessment of the water quality in the Saddle River. They collected insects from the water, counting and identifying everything from snails to leeches. As the assessment came to a close, the students took turns capturing their charges in a plastic cup and gently depositing the fish into their new home.

Trout in the Classroom, informally known as TIC, allows students to observe the lifecycle of a trout on a day-to-day basis. The Pequest Trout Hatchery provides trout eggs in the fall.  Students then watch as the fish hatch and develop. As they care for the trout, students gain a greater understanding of fresh water habitats, water chemistry, and the critical importance of clean cold water in a healthy ecosystem that includes everything from microorganisms to humans.

Gabrielle Dugan commented that having the trout in her classroom allowed her to learn how to create a safe environment for trout.

“I am also now exposed to the specific conditions that trout need to survive, and therefore how global warming and climate change are making it more difficult for them to continuing surviving and reproducing in the wild,” Dugan said.

AHA students who participated in this year’s TIC release trip included Jillian Arzoomanian of Alpine, Danielle Cahill of Ridgefield, Julia Canney of Fort Lee, Megan Cawley of Pomona (NY), Kerianne Costello of Pearl River (NY), Jessica Danylchuk of Mahwah, Gabrielle Dugan of Franklin Lakes, Caroline Fernandez of Teaneck, Noelle Florio of North Haledon, Salina (Sihyun) Lyu of Tenafly, Ciara Mottley of River Vale, Grace Moynihan of Pearl River (NY), Rose Napolitano of River Vale, Sophia Ortiz of Haworth, Iris (Shin Hyung) Park of Glen Rock, Olympia Peters of Demarest, Ariela Pizza of Franklin Lakes, Arianne Rowe of New City (NY), Julia Scheuring of Northvale, Sarah Schwab of Wyckoff, Jillian Tracey of Oradell, Emily Ventimiglia of River Vale, Jillian Vlacancich of Moonachie, and Kayla Weir of Orangeburg (NY).

Inspired by AHA’s sponsors, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Holy Angels community works toward greater respect for creation by participating in environmentally-oriented programs.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.

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