Green Schools Recognition Program Honors Palm Beach County’s Greenest Schools-Jupiter Middle School Wins Top Prize
The winners of the third annual Green Schools Recognition Program were announced at a catered luncheon held at the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties’ downtown West Palm Beach headquarters on May 4, 2011. The program’s highest honors went to Jupiter Middle School of Technology, who earned a cash award of $2,000. “We are so honored to be recognized as the Top Green School of 2011,” says teacher Lisa Zern, the green schools coordinator for Jupiter Middle School, “We have been going green for five years now, but the Green Schools Recognition Program has taught us that there is more to going green than recycling and that it takes everyone, not just one person.” A private school, St. Andrew’s, received $1,000 for placing second and in a tie for third place, Roosevelt Middle and Bak Middle School of the Arts each received $750.
A number of judges’ choice awards were also given. The Audubon Society of the Everglades presented Marsh Pointe Elementary with a $500 check for its habitat preservation efforts; Florida Power & Light presented Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary with $500 for its exemplary energy conservation measures; Jupiter Farms Elementary received $500 from Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County for its outstanding recycling and composting activities; Slow Foods Glades to Coast presented Unity School with $250 and $50 awards to both Juno Beach Preparatory School and Poinciana Elementary; and finally, Pine Jog Environmental Education Center awarded $500 to J.C. Mitchell Elementary for its overall “greening” initiative.
This year’s program recognized a total of 49 applicants, almost double the number of schools that participated last year. “The increasing number of participants tells me that more schools are truly embracing the notion of sustainability and the importance of integrating ‘green school’ concepts into their day-to-day operations, which is really what we had hoped this recognition program would catalyze,” says FAU/Pine Jog’s Education Director, Susan Toth.
The Green Schools Recognition Program is an initiative of the FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in collaboration with the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties and the Environment Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation. The program recognizes both public and private schools in Palm Beach County who are taking a holistic approach to going green that incorporates school ground enhancement, resource conservation, curriculum connections, and community involvement with a school wide commitment and focus on sustainability. “I was delighted and amazed by the quality of the applications submitted. We have tried hard over the last few years to help schools understand that you don’t have to be built green to be green and it seems that the message has really begun to resonate,” says Christina Crespo, the District’s Recycling and Sustainability Coordinator.
Schools’ applications are evaluated based on a rigorous set of criteria and judges this year included an array of professionals from the design and construction, energy, environmental, solid waste, and instructional fields. After judging is complete, schools receive one of three designations:
- Program of Promise: A school that is taking the beginning steps to improve sustainability.
- Program of Quality: A school that is taking active strides in improving and maintaining sustainable practices.
- Program of Excellence: A school that shows the highest level of commitment to sustainability.
In addition to the top winners, eight other schools were named “Programs of Excellence” – Clifford O. Taylor/Kirklane Elementary, Jupiter Community High, Jupiter Farms Elementary, Morikami Park Elementary, Pine Jog Elementary, SD Spady Elementary, Palm Beach Day Academy, and St. Mark Catholic School.
“Programs of Quality” are Berkshire Elementary, Cardinal Newman High, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, Elbridge Gale Elementary, Forest Park Elementary, Grassy Waters Elementary, Greenacres Elementary, J.C. Mitchell Elementary, Jerry Thomas Elementary, Juno Beach Preparatory School, Lighthouse Elementary, Marsh Pointe Elementary, Northboro Elementary, Palm Springs Middle, Plumosa School of the Arts, Poinciana Elementary, St. Ann Catholic School, Timber Trace Elementary, Unity School, Wellington High, and West Gate Elementary.
The Academy for Positive Learning, Beacon Cove Intermediate, Boca Raton Elementary, Calusa Elementary, Cholee Lake Elementary, Citrus Cove Elementary, Crestwood Middle, Diamond View Elementary, Hagen Road Elementary, Hammock Pointe Elementary, Hillel Day School, Logger’s Run Middle, Palm Beach Gardens Elementary, Royal Palm School, Sandpiper Shores Elementary, and Wellington Landings Community Middle were all named “Programs of Promise.”
A number of the schools who participated in this year’s Green Schools Recognition Program will share their success stories at this year’s third annual Learn Green Conference & Expo, to be held on the campus of Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts on November 11, 2011. This statewide green schools conference will feature exciting speakers, exhibits, green school tours, and other educational opportunities. Visit the conference website at www.ourgreenschools.com/learngreenconference for more information, including instructions on how to register for the event.
For more information please contact Ms. Crespo at 561-688-7602 or email@example.com .