The U.S. Department of Education announced that MICDS is among the 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. Nominated by the Missouri Environmental Education Association, MICDS has been actively engaged in the reduction of environmental impact and utility costs, health and wellness, and effective sustainability and environmental education for many years.
This award is the result of a student-led pursuit. Two Upper School students, Alex Hutton ’20 and Dean Sliney ’20, started a two-part Independent Study course in the fall researching and completing the application for this distinction throughout the first half of the school year. Hutton and Sliney shared the story of MICDS’ efforts through narrative and extensive data prompts under the three pillar categories.
- Pillar I: Reduce environmental impact and costs
- Pillar II: Improve the health and wellness of students and staff
- Pillar III: Provide effective sustainability and environmental education
Science Department Chair Bob Shaw said, “This distinction and recognition is especially inspiring for our schoolwide sustainability program as it was researched, written and submitted by students as part of their independent study. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first and only student-led application submitted for this award from Missouri – and possibly nationally. This endeavor is relevant in all aspects of the School from facilities, purchasing, food service and grounds to curriculum, student services and administrative decisions.”
“MICDS deserves this award because of the School’s endless commitment to providing a healthy, beautiful and sustainable campus,” Hutton stated. “Dean and I learned of the opportunity to help MICDS receive the recognition the institution deserves, and we jumped on the opportunity. The success of the application speaks to the dedication of our teachers, staff and administration in providing the best possible sustainable learning environment.”
Sliney remarked, “It’s been a tremendous honor to help garner recognition for MICDS at such a high level. It was easy to represent MICDS because our School was founded on the very same ideals that define the Green Ribbon School program. We cannot be more thankful to all the people who informed and guided us in this process. We are so proud to have made a lasting impact on the MICDS community – one that will hopefully inspire others to pursue their own passions to the next level.”
Across the country, 39 schools, 11 districts and five postsecondary institutions are being honored. The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 27 states. The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. The full report for MICDS can be found here. Report highlights for all honorees, including MICDS on page 103, can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three pillars can be found here.