Best of the Best
Hillcrest Earns Best of Green Schools Student Leader Award
Hillcrest Elementary received the 2017 Best of Green Schools award in the Student Leader category from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network (GSNN), Wednesday, March 22. The award honorees were announced at the Green Schools Conference and Expo in Atlanta, Ga.
A National Green Ribbon School since 2015, Hillcrest has been a leader in environmental sustainability. This year, the school switched from Styrofoam to compostable trays, which decreased waste production by 75 percent and lowered the school’s waste hauling costs by 50 percent. Previously, the elementary school built 12 raised beds to grow vegetables that have been harvested for a local food bank in and created a robust compost system using excess lunchroom waste and worms. The school also raises chickens and has a covered outdoor classroom for additional learning opportunities.
“This award serves as another reminder of the excellence demonstrated by our students and staff members,” Hillcrest Principal Paula Seaman said. “We receive tremendous community and school district support, but it's our students, who are thirsty for knowledge, who are making a difference. With a staff who shares the same passion, this award is the result of that teamwork.”
The annual Best of Green Schools awards recognize 11 individuals, institutions, projects, and events representing the best environmental efforts in schools across the country and highlight the national leaders and innovators in school sustainability for the year.
“Hillcrest continues to raise the bar in sustainability education and leadership,” said Anisa Heming, Director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “We believe that every student across the country should have the opportunity to learn in and from a green school environment and the students at Hillcrest are making that happen in their community every day. They serve as an inspiration to their peers, and we look forward to being part of and learning from their work.”
The Best of Green Schools awards celebrate the hard work being done to push the green schools movement forward. Honorees include schools with innovative and integrated curriculum that represents the best that 21st-century learning has to offer, policy makers who’ve made environmental sustainability core to their platforms and legacies and organizations that come together on the national level to advance healthy schools for all.
“Every year, I continue to be amazed by the incredible work of the honorees to realize our vision of clean, green, sustainable schools across the U.S.,” said Jennifer Seydel, Ph.D., Executive Director of Green Schools National Network. “Hillcrest’s passion is the driving force behind the green schools movement. I commend Hillcrest for their efforts in advancing sustainability education and leadership in our schools."