Skyridge honored for environmental excellence

State-level award given to schools for energy efficiency

Skyridge Middle School continues to be an environmental leader, winning a statewide award.

The school, along with others, was honored for environmental impact and energy efficiency last month. The recognition was an extension of a national competition, which named finalists from several states as Green Ribbon Schools.

State level awards were given in three categories: Environmental impact and energy efficiency, healthy school environments, and environmental and sustainability education.

Skyridge was honored in the first category with four other schools.

“What makes me most proud of this award is the fact that it is a direct result of student-led interest and efforts to make our school and community a better place,” said Aaron Smith, principal. “We have amazing kids who truly want to make a difference.”

State Superintendent Randy Dorn presented the awards.

“Their enthusiasm, hard work and creativity demonstrate that we can provide an excellent environment for a well-rounded education with an emphasis on addressing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” he said. “Criteria for this award were rigorous. I applaud the winners for their dedication to making the world a better place.”

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff and providing effective environmental and sustainability education.

The program is part of a broader effort by the Department of Education to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices that are proven to result in improved student engagement, higher academic achievement and graduation rates, and workforce preparedness.

Smith said he is glad Skyridge is at the forefront of this effort

“In addition to the cost savings to the district, tackling environmental issues gives our students an opportunity to problem solve real-world issues that are relevant on a local, national and global level,” he said. “Our green efforts also provide rich leadership opportunities and help students apply what they are learning in the classroom in a meaningful and tangible way.”