Thursday August 20, 2015
The South Burlington School District is already renowned statewide for its academic programs, but it has recently received another feather in its cap: the honor of being one of seven districts to receive the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. In early July, the district received a letter from David Mears, commissioner for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, informing them of the accolade.
According to the letter, “The Vermont Governor’s Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. To date, more than 200 award-winning efforts of Vermont individuals, organizations, institutions, public agencies, and businesses have been recognized.”
All of the district’s five schools received the EPA Energy Star Building Certification for Schools. That means South Burlington schools are in the top 25 percent of schools nation wide in energy efficiency, while also meeting standards for health, ventilation, comfort and lighting quality. All of the schools are part of Project Green School, a collaboration led by Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Superintendents Association’s School Energy Management Program to help create sustainable and healthy schools for all Vermonters.
In order to receive the accolade, the district was subject to a screening process that involved technical review as well as a compliance review and evaluation by a panel of judges selected by the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. Then, the secretary made the final determination on the winners. Some of the review criteria involved measurable environmental benefits, demonstration of innovation, sustainability and/or partnerships, transferability, cost and economic benefits, and advancement of environmental education.
An award ceremony was held August 6 at the Vermont Principals Association leadership academy at the Killington Grand Hotel and Resort.
SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent