2015 Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees Announced
OLYMPIA — April 22, 2015 — The fourth annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees and District Sustainability Awardees, nominated by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, were announced today by Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, along with Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Tahoma School District is among the 14 honorees of the District Sustainability Award and Image Elementary (Evergreen School District), Hillcrest Elementary (Oak Harbor) and Discovery Elementary (Mukilteo) are among the 58 schools nationwide announced as 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.
The selected districts and schools are being honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and energy costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
“The four winners are models for the rest of the state,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “Each student at Tahoma helps with recycling, composting and energy consumption. That has led to a 27 percent decrease in energy use since 2009. At Image Elementary, signs around the school have helped decrease energy use by 68 percent since 2009. Hillcrest Elementary decided to raise chickens in a school courtyard, and parents helped to build a coop. And Discovery Elementary reduced its trash output by 62 percent in three months.
“It’s very encouraging to see how much of an impact on costs and on the environment districts can have with a coordinated effort.”
Education Secretary Duncan noted that the awards provide health learning environments. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement,” he said.
In addition to the national awards, Washington state has designated two schools and one district as Washington State Green Schools and District Leaders: Gaiser Middle School (Vancouver), Westwood Elementary School (Enumclaw) and Issaquah School District. The three are being honored for their achievement in at least one of three Green Ribbon pillars:
- reducing environmental impact and costs;
- improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and
- providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), civic skills and green career pathways.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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