Watershed Voice
Spring 2013

CBF Participants Are Celebrated as Green Ribbon Schools 

Keith Jones and Lee Derby face the same challenges that principals across the watershed are facing in this era of high stakes testing, common core state standards, and tight budgets. Their approach to solving those challenges is a little bit unique. These principals are with Cedar Grove Elementary School and Summit Hall Elementary School, where they have integrated the environment into the curriculum and into the grounds. Students, teachers, and staff have been working hard and benefiting from the recent environmental focus.

Principal Keith Jones on a CBF professional-development program specifically designed for principals.  Photo courtesy of Allyson Ladley Gibson/CBF Staff.

Principal Lee Derby on a CBF professional-development program specifically designed for principals. Photo courtesy of Allyson Ladley Gibson/CBF Staff.

The Maryland State Department of Education has taken notice and nominated both schools for the National Green Ribbon Schools Award. The award "will 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. 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." (Maryland State Department of Education press release, February 14)

CBF is proud to work with Cedar Grove and Summit Hall both in the field and in the classroom. Our hats go off to Principal Derby and Principal Jones, multi-year participants in CBF's professional development program specifically for principals, for their continuous effort and support to make the environment a priority for the next generation of students. 

Summit Hall's Principal Keith Jones says "when you get a group of like-minded people working together and find partners who can guide you to better levels of environmental stewardship and advocacy, students can become equipped to carry on with the business of making the school and our local environment a better place in which all can live and work." 

Claire Gardner, teacher from Cedar Grove who attended CBF's Chesapeake Classroom summer courses has shared her reflection piece about those courses. The school offers many examples of the work they are doing to be a Green School (Teaching Green, Being Green, Living Green), many of which are reproducible at other schools. CBF encourages other teachers to be inspired by these environmental super stars! 

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is scheduled to announce the recipients of the GRS awards on Earth Day, April 22.

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