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Priory honored for energy, resource conservation efforts

February 20, 2015

Woodside Priory School recently took a gold medal from the U.S. Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency as a “Green Ribbon School.”

The Priory’s commitment to sustainability was a principal element of the recognition.

“This commitment includes the school’s energy and resource conservation programs, which includes solar electricity production, drought tolerant landscaping, and robust compost and recycling efforts,” said Sean Mclain Brown, Priory’s director of communications.

Students’ community service efforts as well as the counseling department’s focus on reducing stress and bullying also contributed to the honor, according to Brown who said sustainability coordinator Hovey Clark and the school “worked very hard in earning the award.” 

Clark oversaw the application process. He says the school’s success in the award program is the result of several years of organization, as well as the dedication and hard work from teachers and students throughout the school. “People here have worked together to fulfill the school’s mission, in which ‘lifelong learning and stewardship’ are core values,” Clark said. “As I looked across departments and program areas, there are so many aspects of our program and experience that point toward our commitment to stewardship and healthy living.”

The school also works to serve healthy, locally sourced organic food. Food from its garden is certified by the state and served in the cafeteria. The school’s solar program provides more than 50 percent of its energy needs.

In the course of completing the application, the school developed an EPA Energy Star benchmarking portfolio. This tool, in conjunction with similar tools from the school’s solar contractor, as well as energy and water utilities, allows the school to monitor resource use across the campus, and to make adjustments to buildings and areas that work less efficiently than other spaces.

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