For Immediate Release - June 19, 2013

State Officials Announce 'Green Team' Awards for 2012-2013

BOSTON - Students in 96 classes from 84 schools across the Commonwealth received special recognition for their outstanding environmental actions as members of the "Green Team," a statewide environmental education program promoted by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

Students of any age can participate in the Green Team program, an initiative comprised of students who share the goals of reducing pollution and protecting the environment. Nearly 91,000 students in more than 396 classes at 296 schools joined the Green Team this school year.

"Students who participate in the Green Team program learn some of the basic environmental building blocks, like recycling and sustainability," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Developing this kind of awareness benefits each individual student, while it also helps to further the conservation and energy-efficiency efforts undertaken by the Commonwealth."

Students took part in a range of activities including:

  • expanding school recycling programs,
  • starting a compost pile using organic waste from the school cafeteria, and using the compost it generates to nourish a garden to grow vegetables,
  • making their school driveways "Idle-Free Zones,"
  • increasing energy efficiency in their schools and communities.

These activities incorporated class-room disciplines from the fields of science, engineering and mathematics to reading, writing and art, as well as other non-classroom, inter-related projects.

"I congratulate all the hard work the students have done to lead the way during the past school year to raise environmental awareness through Green Team activities," said EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan.  "I also want to underscore my appreciation for these teachers who recognize that the environmental leaders of tomorrow are forged in the classrooms of today."

Participating classes were entered into a drawing for prizes, and 96 classes received prizes for their efforts (full listing below). Nineteen schools won grand prizes, and will receive school-wide performances by environmental educators Jack Golden, Peter O'Malley and Earthtunes, or gift cards to local garden centers for trees or garden supplies to further "green" their schools.  

"These Green Teams are designed to demonstrate at the micro-level how recycling, energy efficiency and curtailing waste have immediate and measureable benefits," said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. "The teachers and students can take and adapt the lessons they learn to develop creative approaches to environmental stewardship that will make a big difference in their schools and communities." 

Participating teachers also received a Green Team Kit containing classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and access to a library of other resources. In addition, 55 schools received recycling equipment from the Green Team to initiate or expand school recycling programs. Seventeen schools received signs reading "Idle-Free Zone" from the Green Team that serve as a visual reminder to drivers to turn off their engines while waiting in the schoolyard.

Students at Charlestown High School participated in a dozen Green Team activities, and teacher Tom Hayes said, "We learned so much!  We are also trying to reach beyond the classroom and change the culture of the entire school."

At Brookside Elementary School in Dracut, teacher Denise Porcello calculated that the students diverted more than 91 bags of trash from disposal because of the students' recycling and waste reduction activities. "The class is much more aware of the importance of recycling and reusing!" noted Ms. Porcello.

At the Gill Elementary School, students created a display about the history and process of composting and recycling at their school and manned it at the Gill Energy Fair in April. The students also helped lead the district-wide composting and recycling system there.

Hingham High School sports teams and clubs take turns supervising the compost and recycling station in a "Slash the Trash" competition.  Each season, the winning team wins a prize from a local sponsor.  Principal Richard Swanson stated, "The Hingham High School Green Committee has greatly decreased waste by developing a comprehensive recycling and composting program in the school cafeteria."  In addition, students and staff created three new school garden beds, built with reclaimed lumber and filled with compost generated on site.

Students, teachers and parents have been busy at the William L. Foster Elementary School in Hingham implementing and measuring the results of their school's recycling, composting, gardening and "idle-free" programs.  "All the children at the school are involved with our efforts and are part of our Green Team," noted teacher Charlotte Allan.

Students at Benjamin Butler Middle School in Lowell began a school composting program this year.  All 300 students at Lowell's Joseph Pyne Arts Magnet School participated in a variety of Green Team activities.

Ten teachers from the Center School in Mattapoisett involved their classes in Green Team activities, culminating in a school wide Environmental Fair. "The town came to the school to see what each grade level focused on," noted teacher Tammy Kelley.  "We created projects and writing assignments to teach others how to recycle to help protect our ocean animals."

At the Timony Grammar School in Methuen, students built a green house with recycled plastic bottles and planted herbs and salad greens.  They also researched and wrote essays on pollution from oil spills and global warming.  "They have learned to research facts and base decisions on fact," stated teacher Cynthia Nugent.

Christopher Pires and Lawrence Carlesi, long-time Green Team member teachers at Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School, noted, "The Green Team is a great way to introduce students to the Environmental Science and Technology Career pathways.  As the students progress through the projects they gain understanding of how their choices affect the planet and they become actively involved in finding solutions to current environmental issues."

Students at the Thorndyke Road School in Worcester were active Green Team participants and formed teams of Recycling Managers, Cheerleaders, Performers, Artists, Educators and Celebration Planners.  "The students are enthusiastic, and reuse, reduce and recycle have become part of the culture in the school," said teacher Stephanie Syre-Hager.

Nearly 6,000 students pledged to reduce, reuse, recycle; walk, bike, carpool or take public transportation; and conserve energy and water to help protect the environment. Many of the students encouraged their parents to take an idling-reduction pledge and turn off car engines while parked or waiting. Other students tracked the trash generated in their home for one month, subtracting the amount of trash their family eliminated via recycling.  In addition, activities included improving school recycling or composting programs, conserving energy at school, visiting recycling facilities, meeting with municipal officials, planting school gardens, seeking alternatives to Styrofoam lunch trays, building solar-powered vehicles, and creating signs, posters, videos and web pages to raise environmental awareness in their school community.

All participating classes received Certificates of Recognition, "Trash Terminator" bookmarks or Golden, entitled "Garbage is My Bag"; a recycling and conservation show by Peter O'Malley; an environmental concert by Earthtunes, and a gift card to a nearby garden center for plants or school gardening supplies. Other Green Team prizes included Green Team wrist bands, biodegradable corn resin key rings, information wheels, and "Compost Matters" activity books.

To learn more or to participate in The Green Team program next school year, teachers may signup on-line at: www.thegreenteam.org. 

Grand Prize Winners
Charlestown High School
Charlestown

Tom Hayes
9-12
Garden Supplies

St. Mary Of The Annunciation School
Danvers

Stacy Drector
PreK-8
Garden Supplies

Brookside Elementary School
Dracut

Denise Porcello
2
Recycling Show

Gill Elementary School
Gill

Joanne Flagg
6
Garden Supplies

Hingham High School
Hingham

Richard Swanson
9-12
Garden Supplies

William L. Foster Elementary School
Hingham

Charlotte Allan & Bridget Carroll
K-5
Earthtunes Concert

Sam Placentino Elementary School
Holliston

Karin Protas
1-2
Recycling Show

Benjamin F. Butler Middle School
Lowell

Principal Eilish Connaughton
5-8
Recycling Show

Joseph G. Pyne Arts Magnet School
Lowell

Deborah Kerr
K-5
Earthtunes Concert

Center School
Mattapoisett

Courtney Aarsheim, Jenn Boudreau, Erin Custadio, Marissa Hughes, Christylyn Julian, Tammy Kelley, Diane LeRoy, Kimberlee Nashold, Nancy Ricci, Audrey Riley
2
Recycling Show

Donald P. Timony Grammar School
Methuen

Cynthia Nugent
3-8
Garden Supplies

Clyde F. Brown Elementary School
Millis

Laura Doherty
K-4
Garden Supplies

Greater New Bedford  Vocational Tech. High School
New Bedford

Christopher Pires & Lawrence Carlesi
9-12
Garden Supplies

Thomas Prince School
Princeton

Corey Burnham-Howard
K-8
Recycling Show

Broad Meadows Middle School
Quincy

Deborah Baird
7
Garden Supplies

Sherwood Middle School
Shrewsbury

Carol Virzi
5-6
Garden Supplies

Greater Lowell Technical High School
Tyngsboro

Deb Gustafson
9-12
Garden Supplies

Hosmer Elementary School
Watertown

Susan Bellis
5
Recycling Show

Thorndyke Road School
Worcester

Stephanie Syre-Hager
K-6
Earthtunes Concert

Green Team Winners
C. T. Douglas School
Acton
Catherine Christensen
2-6
Wristbands 

The Victor School
Acton
Stephen Zwink
8-12
Wristbands

Benjamin J. Phelps Elementary School
Agawam
Jane Sauter
K
Compost Activity Books

Clifford M. Granger School
Agawam
Tammy Rumplik
K-4
Wristbands

Roberta G. Doering School
Agawam

Kathy Jediny
6
Wristbands

Roberta G. Doering School
Agawam

Tracey Pass
5
Wristbands

Smart Start Preschool, Inc.
Agawam

Robin Jensen
PreK
Compost Activity Books

Oakmont Regional High School
Ashburnham

Alana Archangelo
9-12
Corn Resin Key Rings

Rainbow Workshop And Learning Center
Assonet

Elizabeth Lawton
PreK-K
Compost Activity Books

Swift River Elementary School
Belchertown

Cindy Fourner
Compost Activity Books (1)

Roger E Wellington Elementary School
Belmont

Principal Amy Spangler,  Kim Raubenheimer
K-4
Recycled Denim Pencils

Bernardston Elementary School
Bernardston

Jennifer Comiskey
4
Recycling Info Wheels

Centerville Elementary School
Beverl
y
Kris Melanson
4-5
Wristbands

Hannah Elementary School
Beverly

Tanya O'Malley
5
Recycling Info Wheels

North Beverly Elementary School
Beverly

Kurt Anderson
5
Wristbands

Edward M. Kennedy Academy For Health Careers
Boston

Angela Cappuci
9-12
Wristbands

Bridgewater - Raynham Regional High School
Bridgewate
r
Jessica Lazarus
9-12
Hazardous Waste Info Wheels

Arnone School
Brockton

Christina Limon
K-5
Composting Info Wheels

Warren Prescott School
Charlestown

Tina Champagne
5
Wristbands

Excel Academy Orient Heights
East Boston

Natalie Scheidt
5
Wristbands

Tri-County Schools
Easthampton

Danielle Crescione
K-12
Wristbands

Frank M. Silvia Elementary School
Fall River

Kimberly Katz
1
Compost Activity Books

Cape Cod Regional Technical High School
Harwich

Lynn Fleischer
11-12
Corn Resin Key Rings

Harwich Elementary School
Harwich

Margaret Shaffer
2
Recycled Denim Pencils

Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School
Haverhill

Ted Becker
8
Wristbands

Hunking Middle School
Haverhill

Cynthia McLaughlin
6-7
Recycled Denim Pencils

Lt. Clayre Sullivan Elementary School
Holyoke

Sally Imbimbo
4-7
Wristbands

Hopedale Memorial School
Hopedale

Jane LeClaire
5
Wristbands

Hopkinton Middle School
Hopkinton

Michael Siedlecki
6-8
Wristbands

George R. Austin Intermediate School
Lakeville

Beth McNamara
4-5
Wristbands

Leicester High School
Leicester

Joanne Bernier
9-12
Wristbands

Willie Ross School For The Deaf
Longmeadow

Dawn Cooke
6-8
Wristbands

Bartlett Community Partnership School
Lowell

JoAnne Downing
PreK-8
Wristbands

Dr. An Wang Middle School
Lowell

Dawn Theberge
7-8
Composting Info Wheels

Katherine P. Stoklosa Middle School
Lowell

Elinor Sadlier
5-8
Wristbands

Pawtucketville Memorial Elementary School
Lowell

Erica VanFleet
3-4
Wristbands

St. Louis School
Lowell

Joseph Santoro
5
Wristbands

St. Patrick School and Education Center
Lowell

Marjorie O'Donnell
K-8
Wristbands

Brickett Elementary School
Lynn

Donna Whalen
5
Wristbands

Salemwood School
Malden

Lisa Serio
6
Recycling Info Wheels

Manchester Jr- Sr High School
Manchester

Eric Magers
11
Wristbands

Fowler School
Maynard

Deb Roussell
7
Wristbands

Helen R. Donaghue School
Merrimac

Noelle Keach
4
Wristbands

Helen R. Donaghue School
Merrimac

Susan Simmons
4
Wristbands

Henry B Burkland Intermediate School
Middleborough

Lisa Kaufman
5
Recycling Info Wheels

Woodside Montessori Academy
Millis

Laura Logan
K-8
Recycling Info Wheels

Norton High School
Norton

Paula Beisheim
11-12
Corn Resin Key Rings

Norwell Middle School
Norwell

Christina Bailey
6-8
Wristbands

Captain Samuel Brown School
Peabody

Diane Bugler
4-5
Wristbands

Allendale Elementary School
Pittsfield

Nancy Gagnon
1
Compost Activity Books

Pittsfield High School
Pittsfield

Dianne Renton
9-12
Wristbands

Atherton Hough Elementary School
Quinc
y
Teresa Quinton
5
Wristbands

Snug Harbor Community School
Quincy

Joyce Wells
4-5
Wristbands

Southern Berkshire Regional Schools
Sheffield

Danielle Melino
10-12
Composting Info Wheels

Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School
Shelburne Falls

Karen Eldred
K-6
Compost Activity Books

Pine Hill Elementary School
Sherborn

Mary Lucey
3
Composting Info Wheels

Somerset Berkeley Regional High School
Somerset

Krystal Cardoza
9-12
Wristbands

Laurence C. Macarthur Elementary School
South Yarmouth

Audrey Lee
PreK - 3
Recycled Denim Pencils

The Grow School
Southbridge

Martha Burkett
K-7
Wristbands

Elizabeth Stevens Brown Elementary School
Swansea

Carol Maynard
5
Wristbands

Joseph Case Jr High School
Swansea

Jessica Sanchez
8
Wristbands

Mattacheese Middle School
West Yarmouth

Kristen O'Brien
6-8
Wristbands

North Middle School
Westfield

Michael Dulaski
7
Corn Resin Key Rings

Helen E. James Elementary School
Williamsburg

Johanna Korpita
2
Wristbands

Lincoln Elementary School
Winchester

Ashley Bevan
K-5
Recycled Denim Pencils

Shamrock Elementary School
Woburn

Alison McDaniel
3-5
Recycling Info Wheels

Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School
Worcester

Judith Luber-Narod
9-12
Wristbands