For Immediate Release - May 02, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Recognizes 19 Programs for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

BOSTON - May 2, 2011 - In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administration's ongoing dedication to promoting environmental stewardship, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today honored programs aimed at teaching students about energy and the environment at the 17th Annual Secretary's Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

During a State House ceremony, Secretary Sullivan recognized schools and nonprofits from 19 communities across Massachusetts. The awards credited programs in the categories of renewable energy, water conservation, environmental protection and recycling. Each honored school received a certificate in recognition of its energy and environment leadership

"Today we pay tribute to the students and teachers who endeavor to raise awareness about energy and environmental issues that affect us all," Secretary Sullivan said. "Their commitment, which goes far beyond the classroom, is an inspiration to us as a Commonwealth."

Two schools from New Bedford and Sharon received accolades for their programs on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One school in Warren was lauded for its solar energy education program, and another in Lynn was honored for teaching students about the use of rain barrels to promote water conservation.

Winners were awarded $100 to $400 prizes. Paid for by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, the awards are intended to fund further environmental education initiatives at the schools.

"The Trust congratulates students and educators who dedicate their time, effort and resources to incorporate the environment into their curriculum. I commend all the students and teachers for their hard work and creativity," said James Gomes, trustee of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. "The awards presented today are one of the many important programs supported by over 40,000 drivers who purchase the three Massachusetts environmental license plates: The Right Whale, The Leaping Brook Trout, and the Blackstone Mill."

EEA solicited Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award nominations in early 2011. Schools and organizations that voluntarily incorporate environmental education into public or private school curricula are eligible. The Secretary's Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education - comprised of environmental educators from state agencies, non-profits, industry and academia - scored the project applications.

17 th Annual Secretary's Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

AMHERST: Ecology & Environmental Science, Amherst Regional High School, Grade 9, Nick Shaw and Dr. James Fownes, Teachers

ASHBURNHAM: Oakmont Environmental Association Oakmont Regional High School, Grades 9-12, Alana Archangelo, Teacher

BOLTON: Green Team, Nashoba Regional High School, Grades 9-12, Alison Doucette, Advisor

BOSTON: Youth CAN (Climate Action Network), Boston Latin School, Grades 7-12, Cate Arnold, Teacher

BROOKLINE: Compost Program, Dexter Southfield School, Grades 4-12, Sonya McKnight, Teacher and members of the Environmental Club & Class

EASTHAM: Green Energy Army, Eastham Elementary School, Grade 5 Science Club

HARWICH: Clean Energy Day, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, Lynn Fleischer and Don Bein, Teachers

LEICESTER: Leicester High School Environmental Club Recycling In Our School Community, Leicester High School, Grades 9-12, Joanne Bernier, Advisor

LEXINGTON: Small Scale Renewable Energy Inventions, Lexington High School, Grade 9 Environmental Earth Science Group

LYNN: Promoting Water Conservation through Use of Rain Barrels, Brickett Elementary School and the Saugus River Watershed Council, Grade 4, Donna Whalen, Teacher

NEEDHAM: The Buddy Water Project, Hillside Elementary School, Grades 2 and 4, Amy Cicala and George Goneconto, Teachers

NEW BEDFORD: Shrink Your Footprints, Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational -Technical High School, Grades 9-12, Christopher Pires and Lawrence Carlesi, Teachers

PEABODY: Environmental Awareness and Action, 5 th Grade and Environmental Eagles Club Captain Samuel Brown School, Diane Bugler, Joanne Campbell, Mellissa Cokorogianis, Patricia Galvin, Teachers and Diane LeFave, Paraprofessional

PITTSFIELD : Berkshire environmental School Teams (BEST) and Youth Environmental Summit, Center for EcoTehnology (CET), Grades K-12, Cynthia Grippaldi, Teacher

READING: Is the Growing Season Getting Longer?, Austin Preparatory School, Grade 7, Maria Blewitt, Teacher

SHARON: Green Team - Exploring Our Carbon Footprint, Cottage Street Elementary School, Grades K-5, Jackie Mann, Teacher

WILLIAMSBURG: The Great Second Grade Green Team, Helen E. James School, Johanna Korpita, Teacher

WARREN: Solar Energy Program, Quaboag Regional School District, Grades K-12

WINCHESTER: Green Team, McCall Middle School, Grade 6, Evelyn Galatis and Ellie Stroud, Teachers

For photos from the event, please contact Reginald Zimmerman.