A “School” of Fish Enthusiasts

By: Tina Avondet.

The OCA sponsored a tank for the newly-founded Fish Club and is featured in Mr. Dietrich’s room.

A new club has recently “caught” the attention of many North Royalton High School students. Fish Club, lead by Mr. Dietrich, now has more than 500 members including students and teachers and a sponsorship from the Ohio Cichlid Association (OCA). Even though Dietrich has noticed that the club has taken on a life of its own, he’s still excited to see what positive impacts the club can make.

“There’s excitement and energy. It’s really been a dream come true for me,” Dietrich said on the club’s success.

There was a staggering amount of support for the club and as the amount of members began to climb, Dietrich was excited to start a club that everyone could enjoy. Many members are excited to see that the club was filled with new potential fish keepers. Dietrich has hopes for the club to have a lasting positive environmental impact.

Mr. Dietrich, the Fish Club founder, plans to educate kids on all things fish related.

Dietrich was not prepared for the surge of interest in the club. “It must have been a similar experience to a pre-celebrity gaining fame on Instagram,” Dietrich said. “I was amazed at the Google Classroom enrollment number increase at every login.”

But the club isn’t just about the numbers or hilarious memes that have been emerging. Many Fish Club members wish to help start a school conservation effort. Starting with a breeding tank, sponsored by the OCA, containing a threatened species of fish, the Haplochromis lividus. This species is currently on the Conservation, Awareness, Recognition and Responsibility, Encouragement and Education, and Support and Sharing (C.A.R.E.S) priority list, meaning that its current wildlife population is threatened in some way. Having a gateway for a conservation opportunity in school will help to show students easy options to help the environment.

Fish-themed signs made by Fish Club students formed into the words “FISH!”, set in North Royalton High School Halls.

“The C.A.R.E.S. program was created to inspire hobbyists, like us, to take an active role in conservation,” Dietrich said. “As we participate in this program, NR Fish Club will hopefully breed Haplochromis lividus, adding to the threatened population.”

As there is no set future for the unofficial club, and Dietrich hopes for every meeting to be a proactive step in the way of conservation. Amongst all of the excitement of the new club gaining student interest and potential new energetic fish keepers, Dietrich will still to continue to have more fish-related games and activities and fish tank raffles (sponsored by the OCA). He invites students and to join them for their next meeting.

Tina Avondet is a senior at North Royalton High School. She is heavily involved in North Royalton High School’s choir department as she participates in Royal Harmony (show choir) and Royaltones (a cappella ensemble). Outside of school, Tina enjoys working at Marc’s. When she’s not at rehearsal or rocking her Marc’s polo, she enjoys writing, sewing and hanging out with her friends. Tina has big plans after her senior year as she hopes to enlist into the Navy.