Walker Valley divers learn at new depths in Florida Keys trip
by Special to the Banner
Jan 06, 2013 | 811 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DIVING INSTRUCTOR Justin Wetzel stands with Ocoee Middle School student Skyler Swafford and Walker Valley High School diving students Beth Roebuck, Elizabeth Hayes, Anna Harvey, Bristol Snider, Christian Torbett and John Hayes. At far right, diving instructor Bryan Snell encourages his students to “hang loose” during a WVHS oceanography trip to the Florida Keys. The WVHS students were able to scuba dive near the coral reef.
DIVING INSTRUCTOR Justin Wetzel stands with Ocoee Middle School student Skyler Swafford and Walker Valley High School diving students Beth Roebuck, Elizabeth Hayes, Anna Harvey, Bristol Snider, Christian Torbett and John Hayes. At far right, diving instructor Bryan Snell encourages his students to “hang loose” during a WVHS oceanography trip to the Florida Keys. The WVHS students were able to scuba dive near the coral reef.
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Walker Valley High School oceanography students recently obtained their scuba diving certifications on a field trip to the Florida Keys.

The trip was designed to enable the students to discover a whole new world that less than 1 percent of the world's population gets to experience. This was a chance for them to be able to see and be a part of the ecosystems and organisms that they have studied in oceanography class.

They were required to pass the PADI written test as well as the open water requirements in order to get their certification. The trip was set up through Below H2O Scuba Diving Academy in Clermont, Fla. The owner and dive instructor, Bryan Snell, currently lives in the Orlando area, but is from the Florida Keys and was able to set up a dive trip for the students. This is the second set of scuba divers from WVHS, but the first to experience the reefs. The others had some beautiful freshwater springs to dive in.

“Scuba diving isn’t a cheap hobby, but it is definitely an amazing one that these students will be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives,” oceanography teacher Nikki Swafford said.

“My hope is to spark the interest of the students through diving so that they may one day play a part in preserving and protecting our oceans.”