Tuesday, April 28, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Education Names CHCCS a 2015 Green Ribbon School District

“Green Ribbon schools are an inspiration,” says Arne Duncan

Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce that Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is among the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardees. 

CHCCS was nominated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The entire application can be found here. The district was selected due in large part to its waste reduction, energy conservation and sustainability education integration.

“We are very pleased to be awarded the Green Ribbon as a school district,” said Superintendent Tom Forcella. “It is the direct result of much creativity, collaboration and hard work of many people – all under the leadership of Dan Schnitzer, our Sustainability Coordinator.”

In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, nine colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. One other North Carolina school district, Cherokee County Schools, was selected as a Green Ribbon school district. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC. 

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said. “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. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”

Regarding the local efforts of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Sustainability Coordinator Dan Schnitzer commented that while the school district has seen a significant reduction in energy costs, from day one it has been about much more than saving money. “Our goal is to help students create a sustainable paradigm that includes healthy habits and lifelong sustainability skills that benefit their health, their community and the environment.”

The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the postsecondary institutions are community colleges.  

For more information about sustainability efforts in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, please contact Dan Schnitzer at dschnitzer@chccs.k12.nc.us or by phone at 919-967-8211 (ext. 28322).

Dan Schnitzer teaches sustainability to middle school students

Board of Education, principal and architects receive Platinum LEED award
for Northside Elementary in September 2014

McDougle Middle unveils its new solar panel in October 2014

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