Five MMI teams finish in top 15 overall at Luzerne County Envirothon


(Freeland, PA – May 4, 2016) – Five MMI Preparatory School teams finished in the top 15 overall out of 36 teams at the 2016 Luzerne County Envirothon.

The Luzerne County Conservation District coordinates and sponsors the Envirothon, an annual environmental competition for high school students in grades 9-12, each spring. It tests their knowledge of the environment with five 100-point tests: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, and a Current Topic. A cumulative score is tabulated based on the performance in those five tests.

The team of Joshua Kalada-Kania, Samuel Sessock, Taylor Peluso, Sarah Moyer, and Jay Solgama captured first place with 410 out of a possible 500 points and clinched the top category in the individual components of Aquatics, Current Topic, Soils, and Wildlife. They will represent Luzerne County in the two-day Pennsylvania Envirothon on May 24 and 25 at Susquehanna University.

Alexander Sessock, Joseph Delese, Lauren Babinetz, Garrett Kost, and Lois Polashenski combined to finish second with 305 points and clinched the top category award for Forestry.

The team of Elise Hreha, Kelisa Hysenbegasi, Christine Park, Wesley Guarneri, and Amanda Kalada-Kania came in sixth with 268 points. Stephanie Zellner, Jessica Pileggi, Samanta Cottone, Mikayla Dove, and Alyssa Famalette came together to place ninth with 250 points. The team of Sara Davis, Kayla Leonard, Andrew Haber, Lauren Matyas, and Gabriella DeMelfi finished in 13th place with 239 points.

Michael Mele, MMI biology instructor and Envirothon adviser, said, “All of the teams did an exceptional job. Having all five teams place in the top 13 is a first and having a young team of freshman place sixth is a true accomplishment. They all worked hard and showed the measure of their dedication. I couldn’t be prouder or more excited for them.”

Joshua Kalada-Kania is the son of Kevin Kania and Susan Kalada, Drums; Samuel Sessock is the son of Jennifer and James Denion, Freeland, and the late John Sessock; Taylor Peluso is the daughter of Chandra Keyser, Hazleton, and Daniel Peluso, Coatesville; Sarah Moyer is the daughter of Robert and Susan Moyer, Bowmanstown; Jay Solgama is the son of Dr. Paresh and Arti Solgama, Mountaintop; Alexander Sessock is the son of Jennifer and James Denion, Freeland, and the late John Sessock; Joseph Delese is the son of Thomas and Wendy Delese, Freeland; Lauren Babinetz is the daughter of Michael and Patricia Babinetz, Jim Thorpe; Garrett Kost is the son of Joseph and Natalie Kost, Freeland; Lois Polashenski is the daughter of Robert and Kathleen Polashenski, Freeland; Elise Hreha is the daughter of Eric and Elizabeth Hreha, White Haven; Kelisa Hysenbegasi is the daughter of Sezai and Lirie Hysenbegasi, Hazle Township; Christine Park is the daughter of Jae and Young Park, Hazle Township; Wesley Guarneri is the son of Vincent and Sop Guarneri, Wilkes-Barre; Amanda Kalada-Kania is the daughter of Kevin Kania and Susan Kalada, Drums; Stephanie Zellner is the daughter of Stephen and Theresa Zellner, Drums; Jessica Pileggi is the daughter of Daniel and Sandra Pileggi, Albrightsville; Samanta Cottone is the daughter of Nicolino and Milenka Cottone, Hazleton; Mikayla Dove is the daughter of Eric and Susan Dove, Mountaintop; Alyssa Famalette is the daughter of Anthony and Joann Famalette, Freeland; Sara Davis is the daughter of William and Jacqueline Davis, Mountaintop; Kayla Leonard is the daughter of Gregory and Karen Leonard, Hazle Township; Andrew Haber is the son of Dr. John and Cathryn Haber, Tresckow; Lauren Matyas is the daughter of Michael and Wendisue Matyas, Sugarloaf; and Gabriella DeMelfi is the daughter of Daniel and Esme DeMelfi, Hazleton.

Pictured are, first row, from left: Lauren Babinetz, Taylor Peluso, Sarah Moyer, and Lois Polashenski. Second row: Joshua Kalada-Kania, Samuel Sessock, and Alexander Sessock. Third row: Garrett Kost, Jay Solgama, Joseph Delese, and adviser Michael Mele.


About MMI Preparatory School

For 137 years, MMI Preparatory School has been providing dedicated area students with a comprehensive and inspiring 6th through 12th grade college preparatory program that maximizes each individual’s academic, social, and character potential in preparation for success in college and beyond. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).  MMI is a school where every student can reach their full potential: academically, ethically, and socially.  For more information about MMI Preparatory School, visit or call 570-636-1108.