ShareThis Page
Valley News Dispatch

Memories, trust are the catches of the day at Valley High School

Chuck Biedka
| Monday, May 14, 2018, 3:06 p.m.
New Kensington-Arnold elementary students were able fish for trout in front of Valley High School with the help of high school students as part of the district's DARE program on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
New Kensington-Arnold elementary students were able fish for trout in front of Valley High School with the help of high school students as part of the district's DARE program on Monday, May 14, 2018.
New Kensington-Arnold School District elementary student Jimere Brown, 9, watches as Valley High School students bait his hook with a worm during the second annual DARE fishing event on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
New Kensington-Arnold School District elementary student Jimere Brown, 9, watches as Valley High School students bait his hook with a worm during the second annual DARE fishing event on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Students gather on the bank of Pucketa Creek in front of Valley High School in New Kensington as a trout is landed during the second annual DARE fishing event on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Students gather on the bank of Pucketa Creek in front of Valley High School in New Kensington as a trout is landed during the second annual DARE fishing event on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Large rainbow trout caught during the second annual DARE fishing event at Valley High School are placed on ice before being taken to the cafeteria and prepared for lunch on Monday, May 14, 2018.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Large rainbow trout caught during the second annual DARE fishing event at Valley High School are placed on ice before being taken to the cafeteria and prepared for lunch on Monday, May 14, 2018.

Gileyla Jones smiled broadly at Monday morning's DARE to fish day at Valley Junior Senior High School in New Kensington.

"I love to fish and I love monitoring," said Jones, a senior at Valley planing to major in criminal justice at Clarion University with an eye to enlisting in the Pennsylvania State Police. She has already enlisted in the Army National Guard. A few feet away, 22 Roy Hunt Elementary School 4th graders were using donated rods, reels and bait so they could experience fishing hands-on. Jones and other upperclassmen, like senior Alexia Fularz and junior Jay Jackson, were there to show students how to put the bait on the hook, cast, hook and reel in fish.

Large rainbow trout were stocked in the section of Little Pucketa Creek in front of the high school. Planners said 95 trout were lurking in the creek. It's all part of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in the school district.

Arnold and New Kensington police departments teach DARE, a national program that was revived in the district.

The Alle-Kiski Health Foundation and New Kensington's Seventh Street Sportsman Club donated to the event. Also, New Kensington resident Jeff Concoly, a district parent, donated bait.

"I was glad to help," he said, watching the young anglers select neon Power Bait or red worms.

"The second annual fishing derby doesn't have any prizes except the smiles on the student faces and a chance to experience something new for most of them," Superintendent John Pallone said. The school's culinary staff filleted, cooked and served the trout that were caught.

One of the first trout netted was a 13- to 14-inch rainbow caught by Jacob Hilty of New Kensington.

"Throw it back," he said when asked by the student mentors if the fish should swim away or be put on ice.

"I haven't been fishing in a long time, but I like it," said Hilty, who said he likes math and gym.

Hilty said he is part of a catch and release family and he was happy to let someone else catch the fish.

New Kensington Officer Joe Locke, the in-school officer, watched.

"I don't know who is more excited. The kids or me," Locke said. "Even when I see kids years later at a store or restaurant they remember us and say hello."

"This is about interactions with the kids," said Arnold police Chief Eric Doutt. "We build relationships and they remember it. This is really community policing," he said during National Police Week.

Arnold officers are urged to walk through schools when possible and even to have lunch with students to get to know them. "That way, when the youth have problems, they know someone to turn to. Someone to help," he said.

"It's really fun," said Rowan Kiley, a fourth-grader from New Kensington. An immense smile beamed from the girl with sequined T-shirt, who was all business about fishing. "I've been fishing before and it's really fun. My family fishes and goes camping," she said. Valley High Principal Pat Nee said the school is seeking a grant to have Valley students raise trout. That will teach them about ecology and conservation and the fish would be used for the DARE fishing event, he said.

"This opens up kids to opportunities most of them aren't used to," said Todd Kutchak, Roy Hunt Elementary assistant principal.

Senior Jahaun Hughes of Arnold likes fishing and helping youngsters.

"I've fished with my dad and granddad," said Hughes, who has been admitted to Lincoln University, near Harrisburg, in the fall. "I plan on majoring in psychology and teaching," she said.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me