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Schuylerville Elementary School nominated for U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program

Students help plant a treeSchuylerville Elementary School has received the sole New York State nomination to the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) program. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia made the announcement on Friday, Jan. 29. The ED-GRS program recognizes schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the environmental literacy of graduates.

“Green Ribbon Schools has become a staple in our school community,” Principal Gregg Barthelmas said. “A lot of work has been put in along the way from its founding members and the entire elementary school staff. Teachers have embraced this green culture and they’re bringing it into their classrooms and getting students involved.”

The Green Ribbon Schools project began in Schuylerville in 2011, when parent Cindy Wian proposed the program as a way to promote Hudson Crossing Park’s environmental mission in partnership with the school community.

“What began as the seed of an idea for a partnership between the school and the park really blossomed thanks to the support of everyone in the school community and the incredible team of volunteers who came forward to transform our school into a “Green Ribbon School,” Wian said. “Leadership and commitment at every level, from students to members of the Board of Education has been our recipe for success.”

To date, more than 50 projects and programs have been implemented as part of the Green Ribbon School group’s efforts, many integrating multiple GRS cornerstones or pillars, spanning school years, and sending ripples across the district and community.

“We are very proud to receive this recognition,” said Peter Riggi, superintendent of buildings and grounds. “Striving to be a “Green Ribbon School” is a great fit for the district’s mission, as it is one critical way to ensure that future generations care for and benefit from the natural resources of our area and the planet.”

Honorees of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools competition will be announced by Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. on Earth Day, Friday, April 22.