Press Release: Two Maryland Schools Receive National Green Ribbons

Carroll, Montgomery County Schools Gain National Recognition

For Immediate Release                                                   Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (April 22, 2014)

Two Maryland schools today were named recipients of the U.S. Department of Education’s 2014 Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) Awards.

North Carroll High School in Carroll County and Travilah Elementary School in Montgomery County received honors this year.  They were the only entities nominated this year by the Maryland State Department of Education.   U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with Mike Boots, acting chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality,  made the announcement in Washington, DC today.  Forty-eight schools were honored in this year’s competition.

“Today’s honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green by encompassing facility, wellness, and learning into their daily operations,” said Secretary Duncan.  “They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs, improve health, and engage students with hands-on learning that prepares them with the thinking skills necessary to be successful in college and careers.”

Governor Martin O’Malley praised the two honorees, noting that Maryland has made caring for the environment a priority.

"Over the last seven years, we've worked to build the next generation of environmental stewards to take on the challenges facing our planet," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "That's why we've made the better choice to invest in innovative environmental programs for children -- to ensure that we meet our goals for improving the health of the air, land and water we love while also promoting 21st century environmental best practices and careers. With over 2,800 students planting 46,000 trees across our state, we're empowering the next generation to harness their potential to create a more sustainable future for our state and our world."

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said North Carroll High and Travilah Elementary deserve to display the Green Ribbons.  “These award-winning schools represent the tireless efforts going on throughout Maryland, part of our State’s long-term commitment to environmental education and to practices that improve our world for future generations,” said Dr. Lowery.

This is the GRS program’s third year of existence.  State education agencies, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, participated in the third year of the GRS award program. Four Maryland schools were honored with the award during the inaugural year of 2012, and two more schools along with the Montgomery County Public School System were honored last year.

Federal officials recognized 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. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security.

The U.S. Department of Education is already looking forward to the fourth year of the GRS award, and will be publishing updated competition criteria this summer, once again working closely with participating states, collaborating organizations, and partner agencies. 


# # #