OSPI NEWS RELEASE: 2016 Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees Announced

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Randy I. Dorn


2016 Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees Announced

Three schools and two districts honored

OLYMPIA—April 22, 2016—The fifth annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees and District Sustainability Awardees were announced today by John King, U.S. Secretary of Education, along with Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Bethel School District and Issaquah School District are among the 15 honorees of the District Sustainability Award, and Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy (Eatonville School District), Gaiser Middle School (Vancouver), Lakota Middle School (Federal Way) are among the 47 schools announced as 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

Dorn quote

The selected districts and schools are being honored for their exemplary efforts in at least one of three Green Ribbon pillars:

  • reducing environmental impact and costs;
  • improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and
  • providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; civic skills; and green career pathways.

“What I appreciate about these awards is the variety of projects,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “It shows just how much students and staff care about the environment and sustainability. It also shows me how creative students can be. I wish them all well, and I know they will serve as models for the rest of the state.”

Dorn cited examples of each awardee:

  • Each of Bethel School District’s 27 eligible schools run Resource Conservation Programs and have earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR award.
  • Water conservation efforts at Issaquah School District have led to no increases in the irrigation rate, even though the district added 5 buildings with new irrigation systems.
  • Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy has transformed from a K-5 school to a K-8 A-STEM academy and has focused early educational opportunities for students in an outdoor, place-based campus incorporating outdoor lab and learning sites.
  • Gaiser Middle School partners with water resource centers, waste management companies and public utilities, among others, to reduce electricity, natural gas, and water consumption; reduce solid waste; and increase recycling and composting programs.
  • In 2011-2012 a group of Lakota Middle School students pushed to create the Integrated Environmental Sustainability Academy, a “school within a school” that advocates for environmental sustainability, a community garden, and stewardship.

Awarded schools have the opportunity to be honored in Washington, D.C., if they have the funds to make the trip. As the 2016 local sponsor of the Washington Green Ribbon Schools program, California Casualty will provide some travel and lodging expenses.


For more information


Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager

Kristen Jaudon
OSPI Communications Specialist

About OSPI

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state's 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability.

Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at 360-725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.