Bryan Station High School tapped as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School
Bryan Station High School is among the 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees – a testament to many years of extraordinary commitment. “Our students and faculty have worked tirelessly to create a learning environment that encourages environmental literacy, emphasizes sustainable living, and supports health and wellness initiatives. We would especially like to recognize our Green Team on being relentless in their efforts to create two outdoor classrooms, maintaining our recycling and energy projects, and all of their efforts to sustainably defend Station,” said sustainability coordinator and Green Team sponsor Leslie Campbell, who teaches biology and AP Environmental Science.
In one aspect, Bryan Station has focused on ways to improve water quality in the city. By partnering with the local community, the school created a rain garden and outdoor classroom, which resulted in a practical outdoor space that is used by both the high school and Bryan Station Middle School. BSHS also monitors energy costs by conducting monthly energy audits, which has led to a decrease in energy and water consumption within the school. Energy consumption has decreased by 17% over the past four years, and the school reduced water usage by 30% from 2015 to 2019.
“Improving environmental literacy, wellness, and sustainability was a concerted effort of the entire Northside community. The national distinction is something all of us can be proud of,” said Green Team student leader Victoria Lowe.
Bryan Station is the first traditional high school in Fayette County Public Schools to earn this national award. Notably, the U.S. Department of Education this year raised the bar for schools after requiring FCPS to apply as a district in 2020. In essence, organizers now require each nominee to demonstrate excellence in all three pillars beyond any districtwide initiatives.
Across the country, 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions were recognized for innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. The winners came from a pool of candidates nominated by 20 states. The Department of Education tentatively plans a recognition ceremony Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C., if public health conditions permit.
(Posted April 22, 2021)