Press Release

Press Release State Officials Recognize 32 Programs for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Massachusetts Environmental Trust

Media Contact for State Officials Recognize 32 Programs for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

Katie Gronendyke

BOSTONAt a State House ceremony, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today honored 32 energy and environmental education programs at Massachusetts schools and nonprofits as part of the 25th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education.

“As we work to address challenges like climate change, it is vitally important that we prepare the next generation to be responsible stewards of the Commonwealth’s environment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is proud to recognize the outstanding educators who are working to engage students in hands-on educational programs while raising awareness of environmental issues.”

“The innovative environmental and energy educational programs honored today prepare students for academic and professional success and show them ways to make positive changes in their communities and schools,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Thank you to all the schools and nonprofits that have incorporated environmental education in to their curriculum, helping to improve students’ problem-solving skills and create lifelong passions for science and the environment.”

Winners competed for $5,000 in awards, funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust with the intention to fund further environmental education initiatives at the schools. EEA solicited Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award nominations in early 2019. Schools and organizations that voluntarily incorporate environmental education into public or private school curricula are given priority.

“In order to teach the next generation the importance of protecting our natural resources, we need to get children outdoors and engaging with nature,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The programs recognized today connect local environmental issues with STEM subjects, preparing students to both think critically and advocate for our environment.”

The project applications were scored by the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education, a group of environmental educators from state agencies, non-profits, industry and academia.

Education Secretary James Peyser recognized the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools awardees from Massachusetts, Boston Green Academy Horace Mann Charter School, Ipswich Middle-High School and Wellesley Public Schools. The 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, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways.

“The Green Ribbon Schools Award recognizes schools that reduce environmental impact; improve health and wellness of students and staff; and provide effective environmental and sustainability curriculum. We are very proud of the schools we are recognizing today for doing all of those things, and possibly sparking students’ interest in future careers in these fields,” said Education Secretary James Peyser.

25th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

AMHERST:                  Hitchcock Center for the Environment – “Building and Programs,” Grades K-12

ARLINGTON:               Arlington Public Schools – “Rachel Oliveri, Sustainability Coordinator” Arlington Green Teams, Grades K-12

ARLINGTON:               Thompson Elementary School –“Which Way for Water Podcast,” Lauren D’Intino and students, Grade 5

ARLINGTON:               Thompson Elementary School – “All School Green Team and Principal Karen Donato,” Grades K-5

ASHBURNHAM:          Oakmont Regional High School. “Oakmont Environmental Association,” Grades 9-12

BOSTON:                     Boston Public School District: Washington Irving Middle School,  Mario Umana Academy and John W.  McCormack Middle School“Stormwater  Management Curriculum Integration Pilot Program,” Piloting Teachers:  Nicole Ruttan and Kris Grymonpre, Grades 5-7

BROCKTON:                Brockton High School Envirothon, Wolbachia and Environmental Science Club and Science Teacher Joyce Voorhis, Grades 9-12

CHARLEMONT:           Hawlemont Regional Elementary School – “HAY (Hawlemont, Agriculture and Your),” Grades PreK-6

DANVERS:                   Holten Richmond Middles School – “Stormwater Education Project,” Grade 6 Art Students

EASTHAMPTON:        Williston Northampton School – “Going Deep in field Ecology and Garden,” Jane Lucia, Teacher, Grades 7-12

FITCHBURG:                Fitchburg High School “Envirothon Team” Coaches Sarah Johnson & Ann Taft, Grades 9-12

GREENFIELD:               Four Rivers Charter Public School – “The Future of Energy: energy documentary” –  Grade 12 students 

HOLDEN:                     Davis Hill Elementary School – “Davis Hill Community Garden,” Nicole Pisano, Teacher and Grade 5 students

LEICESTER:                  Leicester High School’s Environmental Club/Green Team, “The Ort Report,” Grades 9-12

LEXINGTON:               Minuteman High School’s Environmental Technology Program“Vernal Pool Certification Project,” Grade 10

MASHPEE:                  Mashpee Middle High School – “Technology and Engineering Energy Carnival,” Grades 3-12

MAYNARD:                 Maynard High School – “Green Committee” and Faculty Advisor Rochelle Lerner, Grades 9-12

NAHANT:                    Nahant Education Foundation/Johnson Elementary School – “Place–based marine science curriculum,” Liz Carlson NEF & students, Grades PreK-6

NEW BEDFORD:          Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School – “Environmental Engineering Program,” Grades 9-12

NEWTON:                   Bowen Elementary School – “Newton Environmental Science Program,” Newton Conservation Commission, David Backer, Executive Director – Grades 5-8

NEWTON:                   Mason-Rice Elementary School – “Green Team Kids,” Grades, 3, 4 & 5

NEWTON:                   Mt. Alvernia Academy (Chestnut Hill) – “STEM FUN FAIR,” Grades K-5

NORTH EASTHAM:   Nauset Regional High School – “Marine & Environment Sciences Program,” Luke Simpson, Teacher Grades 9-12

PEABODY:                   Captain Samuel Brown School – “Brown School Goes Greener,” Grades K-5

ROCKLAND:                Rockland High School – “Environmental Club and Envirothon Team,” Angela Armstrong, Teacher/CoachGrades 9-12

SUDBURY, WAYLAND & LINCOLN:  Curtis Middle School, Happy Hollow Elementary School and Massachusetts Audubon Society – “Riverschool Project Teaching Team,” Kim Russell, Drumlin Farm, Ed Eich, Curtis Middle School, Maureen Devlin, Alyssa Leo and Jaclyn Mattson, Happy Hollow Elementary School Grades 5 & 6

WAKEFIELD:                Galvin Middle School – “Camp Cody Outdoor Education,” Teachers Amy Sweeny and Kerry Sullivan, Grade 6.

WALPOLE:                  Norfolk County Agricultural High School – “Environmental Science,” Grades 9-12

WEST BRIDGEWATER:  West Bridgewater School District – Jeremy Dempsey, STEAM Educator Grades  K-6

WESTWOOD:              Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs and the Conservation Law Foundation – “Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge,” Grades K-12

WILBRHAM:    Minnechaug Regional High School – Green Team, Grades 9-12

WINCHESTER:             Winchester Public Schools – “Let’s EnviroMEND Winchester,” Greenhouse Team Club, Grades 6-8

“I am proud of the work these schools and educators have done to ensure that the next generation of environmental stewards are prepared for the road ahead,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer).

“This is a great program that allows our schools to provide environmental education with STEM,” said State Senator Dean Tran (R-Fitchburg). “The education and skills taught to the students will prepare them for a career in an industry that is on the rise.” 

“Congratulations to Coach Sarah Johnson and the Fitchburg High School Envirothon Team for receiving Secretary Theoharides’ Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Affairs. Fitchburg High School was among a select group of schools to receive this honor,” said State Representative Stephen Hay (D-Fitchburg). “This prestigious award honors those whose efforts bring students, teachers and communities together to learn and act as environmental caretakers to protect wildlife habitat, encourage energy efficiency and reduce waste. Fitchburg is proud to be home to the green energy leaders of tomorrow.”



Media Contact for State Officials Recognize 32 Programs for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Massachusetts Environmental Trust 

MET is a grant program whose mission is to support projects that enable innovative approaches to protect and restore natural resources.