ST. PARIS – Graham Local Schools has been recognized as a National Green Ribbon School for developing green and sustainable initiatives. On Wednesday, 35 schools and 14 districts were honored in Washington, D.C., for efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health and ensure effective environmental education.
Graham Local Schools was nominated by the Ohio Department of Education. The Graham school district is attempting to work toward a net zero impact on the environment. Graham will be installing solar at the elementary and middle school this year. This was designed by an all-female student energy team in cooperation with Energy Optimizers USA out of Dayton. With a focus on student engagement and STEM learning Graham Local Schools is one of only a few districts in Ohio to have two STEM designated schools (elementary and middle school) in the district and working toward designation for the high school.
Don Burley, director of Operations at Graham, said, “We are excited to be recognized as a National Green Ribbon School honoree for 2019. This prestigious distinction is one that could only be achieved by the dedicated teaching staff at Graham Local Schools by including green and sustainable opportunities into their curriculum. Our students at Graham have set a tremendous example of what student-led initiatives can accomplish in changing not only the culture, but also operational practices of a school through teamwork and collaboration. We look forward to continuing our journey being leaders in our region and nationally through healthy, green and sustainable initiatives and our mission of ‘Success Today, Prepared for Tomorrow.’”
In addition to the schools honored, four colleges and universities were honored with the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. A state education official was recognized for his efforts to advance school sustainability in Minnesota. Representatives of selectees received sustainably crafted plaques in recognition of their achievements.
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states. The selectees include 25 public schools, including three magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as 10 nonpublic schools. Over a third of the 2019 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.
Those congratulating honorees at the event included James L. Elder, director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy; Phoebe Beirle, manager of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council; Frank Brogan, assistant U.S. secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education; and Neil A. Jacobs, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Submitted by the Graham school district.