Four Maryland schools have been named winners of the inaugural Green Ribbon School Award: Dunloggin Middle School (Howard County Public Schools), Folger McKinsey Elementary School (Anne Arundel County Public Schools), Francis Scott Key Middle School (Montgomery County Public Schools), and the Lucy School (nonpublic, Frederick County).
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, announced the honorees in Washington, DC. Seventy-eight schools from 29 states and the District of Columbia received the honors.
All four schools nominated for the honor by MSDE received Green Ribbon recognition. State education agencies in 33 states, in collaboration with the U.S Department of Education, participated in the inaugural year of the GRS award program. MSDE received 15 completed applications from public and private schools and nominated the maximum number allowed based on the State's student population.
Maryland tied with California, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington for the most schools recognized in the new program.
"Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future," Secretary Duncan said. "Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments."
Federal officials launched the award to recognize schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
"These awards shine a bright spotlight on Maryland schools, which have long been committed to environmental education and to practices that will strengthen our world for generations to come," said Interim State Superintendent Bernard J. Sadusky. "We congratulate our winning schools. They represent the first of many Maryland schools we expect to receive this honor in the coming years."
Representatives from the winning schools will be invited to participate in the national awards ceremony on June 3-4 in Washington, DC. Maryland nominees will also be recognized during the Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit sponsored by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) on June 1 at Sandy Point State Park in Anne Arundel County.