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For Immediate Release: Oct. 18, 2011

Contact: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,


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TALLAHASSEE The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Office of Environmental Education (OEE) this week announced 16 finalists for the 2011 Florida Green School Awards, a partnership between DEP, the Department of Education, Florida’s Foundation and the Sustainable Florida Program.
“Congratulations to the finalists for this year’s Green School Awards,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson.  “Through their pledge of protecting the environment, these students and teachers serve as an example for us all by creating a healthy atmosphere that promotes learning and academic success.” 
Three finalists from public and private schools throughout the state were selected in each of five categories: students, classrooms, teachers, schools and school districts that have implemented resource-saving projects. One finalist per category will be chosen as the state winner, which will be announced at the awards ceremony and banquet scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011. This year, the awards banquet takes place at the West Palm Beach Marriott.
“These finalists represent the best of the more than 100 Green School Award applications received last year. As impressive as these 16 projects are, the cumulative impact of all the projects is really tremendous: more than 42,000 students, teachers and administrators participated directly in green school initiatives that generated $10.8 million in gross cost savings for Florida’s schools,” said Greg Ira, director of OEE.
An expert panel of judges selected the finalists based on their green school initiatives that took place during the 2010-2011 school year. These initiatives included green service learning projects, exemplary environmental education and teacher professional development projects, recycling programs and efforts to make school buildings and facilities more sustainable.
Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) is this year’s signature sponsor for the Florida Green School Network, which encompasses the Florida Green School Awards program. Supporting sponsors include Agriculture in the Classroom, Comcast and Publix. The funding goes to Florida’s Foundation. 
The finalists for the 2011 Florida Green School Awards include:
Student Finalists
- The students of Celeste Norup, Bessey Creek Elementary School, Martin County 
- Madeline Cowen and Larissa Weinstein, Coral Gables Senior High School, Miami-Dade County
- Monica Dyches, Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Miami-Dade County  
Class Finalists
- Deb Wagner’s class at St. Paul Lutheran School, Polk County
- Ray Cruze’s class at Roosevelt Academy, Polk County
- Peter Jordan’s class at Ocoee High School, Orange County
Teacher Finalists
- Deborah Pate, A.K. Suter Elementary School in Pensacola, Escambia County
- Josh Clearman, Key West High School in Key West, Monroe County
- Wendy Doromal, Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Orange County
School Finalists
- David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center in Miami, Miami-Dade County
- Lawton Chiles Elementary School in Orlando, Hillsborough County
- Learning Gate Community School in Lutz, Hillsborough County
- Pine Jog Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County 

School District Finalists
- Charlotte County School District
- Duval County School District
- Pinellas County School District
See a more detailed description of the finalists’ projects here:
If you are interested in obtaining tickets to the awards banquet, please visit