New Wardens Join Ranks, Lucinda’s Samuel D.T. Terwilliger Among Them

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Published February 14, 2024 5:45 am
New Wardens Join Ranks, Lucinda’s Samuel D.T. Terwilliger Among Them

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Their training now complete, Pennsylvania’s newest State Game Wardens are working in their newly assigned districts.

The 35th Class of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation graduated on February 3, adding 12 more officers to the ranks.

Members of the 35th Class, their hometowns, and their assigned districts are: Justin J. Beltowski, of Dysart (Somerset County); Kolton R. Boyer, of New Castle (Allegheny County); Tyler R. Castronova, of Rochester, N.Y. (Allegheny County); Patrick R. DeRojas, of Dallas (Luzerne County); Trevor A. Faust, of Bethlehem (Lehigh County); Benjamin P. Fromm, of Denver, (Lycoming County); Blake H. McNew, of Bangor (Delaware County); Alexander R. Purdy, of Downingtown (Westmoreland County); Joshua K. Ross, of Lock Haven (Centre County); Benjamin M. Sawina, of Newark, Del. (Berks County); Samuel D.T. Terwilliger, of Lucinda (Clarion County); and Nelson E. Yocum Jr., of Honey Brook (Chester County).

Graduate Kolten Boyer received the class award for academics, with a score of 96.03%.

Graduate Trevor Faust was honored with the marksmanship award, achieving the highest overall proficiency in a series of courses firing the handgun, rifle, and shotgun. Faust also was selected as the fitness award winner for maintaining the highest standard of physical fitness during the training program.

Graduate Nelson Yocum Jr. captured the EVOC driving award for exhibiting safe and exceptional police driving skills during the training program.

Graduate Justin Beltowski earned the Academy Torch Award for maintaining the highest professional standard of conduct, values, ideals, and demonstrated abilities as judged by his fellow classmates.

Graduate Tyler Castronova received a Life Saving Award for rendering aid in an emergency while training in the field with Game Warden Stephen Wingenbach.

Graduation of new game wardens follows 44 weeks of intensive training, including 10 weeks of field training.

Training School Director Kyle Jury praised graduates for their dedication and demonstrated commitment to our natural resources.

“These 12 new graduates now embark on their careers as state game wardens by serving in geographical districts across the Commonwealth,” Jury said. By pursuing this career path, they fulfill an instrumental part of the agency’s continued and dedicated effort to wildlife conservation. Having these individuals join the ranks of game wardens will strengthen the agency’s efforts to safeguard the hunting heritage the Game Commission was founded on so that it can be passed on to future generations.”

In 1930, Ross Leffler, then president of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, proposed the establishment of a training school for game protectors, as game wardens then were called. When the training school opened its doors in 1932, in Brockway, Jefferson County, it was the first such conservation officer training school in the world and served as a model for other states.

From 1932 until 1935, the Ross Leffler School of Conservation offered in-service training for game protectors. The school became a permanent facility until 1986, when it was moved to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters.

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