Students Plan Outdoor Classroom to Remember Teacher

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Students at a school in Northumberland County are honoring the memory of a teacher who passed away last year.

There are a lot of classrooms at Line Mountain High School near Herndon, and they are all pretty similar. But soon, students will be learning in a different environment: an outdoor classroom.

"You don't have to be cooped up in a classroom all day, and you can just get out in the fresh air and in a new learning environment," said seventh grader Katie Heim.

Katie Heim and Queenlyn Zartman came up with the idea for an outdoor classroom. Their teacher Lydia Bomgardner told the students about one that was here when she was a student at Line Mountain.

"They thought it was a really good idea to be outside in a different learning environment," Bomgardner said.

Planning started in September. Students designed the classroom themselves.

"Then it just came to, 'How many benches do we need? Do we want tables with the benches so we don't need clipboards? Do we want a podium, a clipboard?'" Bomgardner said.

"We're going to have a sculpture out there to decorate it. We're going to have a garden that one of the classes is doing to make it look nice," Queenlyn Zartman said.

The outdoor classroom will be dedicated to Randy Weiser, a longtime teacher at Line Mountain who passed away last year.

"He loved the outdoors, and it's just kind of a nice thing to do to have it represent him and his last year of teaching was last year," Zartman added.

The first phase of the Randy Weiser Outdoor Classroom is scheduled to be done by the start of the next school year, so students can have classes outside this coming fall.

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