|Editor’s note: The PHS Forestry Student of the Month series highlights top forestry students. This series is made possible through a sponsorship of Starker Forests.|
Seventeen-year-old Savannah Stokes doesn’t like sitting around surrounded by four walls — and that applies to school, recreation, hobbies and most likely in the future, her chosen career. No, this is an outdoors girl and she fits right in with Philomath High’s forestry classes.
“I’m a person that likes to get going and do some stuff,” Stokes said when asked what she enjoys most about the forestry program. “We don’t sit around in class all day, which is my most important thing and why I like this class, because we get around, we move, we don’t sit in one spot too long. We’re definitely interactive.”
Stokes, the daughter of Brandy and Justin Stokes, is the Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month for June.
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Like other students, Stokes had to work through several months away from the PHS campus.
“When we were online, we did use Zoom a little bit but we still had assignments where you’re going out and doing something in the woods, or literally anything outside and getting exercise,” she said. “The Zooms were nice but we didn’t do them too often. He (teacher Simon Babcock) just wanted to make sure that we went outside and did something active.”
Stokes said it was the participation of her older sister, Mallory, that introduced her to the forestry program.
“She was into it and she kinda got me into it so I just stuck with the program,” she said.
Plus, she’s used to working and playing outdoors, so forestry fits right in.
“My dad owns Stokes Construction, which we build logging roads, and I started working for him a little bit more this summer starting this school year,” she said. “We just grew up with it our whole lives.”
Stokes appears to have a developing competitive streak in her when it comes to forestry events. She was first introduced to competitions as a freshman.
“I was pretty nervous to do it but I finally got outside of my comfort zone and did it,” she said. “At the beginning of sophomore year, that’s when I really got into it and was excited about it. But I hope next year, for our senior year, we’re going to have quite (a few) more competitions.”
Stokes said she enjoys choker set for the technical events — an event in which participants set chains that can lift logs. But she prefers the more physical challenges, such as those found in log skills.
With a full year to go in high school, Stokes doesn’t have her immediate plans following high school definitively worked out just yet. But she does know that her future will likely not include sitting in an office.
“I’m probably going to go for a business kind of degree and mainly just work as much as I can,” she said. “No matter what, outside for sure.”
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