Executive Director's Corner: An Exciting New Year
As I thought about what to write as we start this new year, I began reflecting on my personal history with the Green Schools Alliance. I became the executive director in 2015, but my involvement actually goes back much further. I started my sustainability journey in higher education, but started down the Alliance path in 2010 when I became the assistant director of facilities at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia. As a leadership commitment signatory, our participation in Alliance programs was the driving force behind many of our sustainability initiatives. We participated in the Green Cup Challenge, worked to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum, and advocated for kids to get outside and get active in their own community. We even won Best of 2012 Center for Green Schools Community-Based Event, with the majority of students participating in four community service projects that day, at least two of them with a sustainability theme.
These experiences and completing graduate school led me to my next position as director of sustainability for the New York City school district, Green School Alliance’s first district to sign the leadership commitment. Through the combined support of the superintendent and CEO of school facilities, we were able to deepen the level of our commitment with improved building efficiencies, sustainability coordinator training, and increased school participation across the district. These initiatives allowed me the opportunity to work more closely with Green Schools Alliance to develop programs I needed in my district and inspired me to use my experience and position to support and encourage others.
That’s why I am thrilled to introduce the Alliance’s updated Sustainability Leadership Commitment. Designed to be accessible to all schools wherever they are on their sustainability journey, we hope this helps prospective and existing Alliance leaders create and improve sustainable schools communities. coming together to build our shared future. I encourage previous signatory schools to take a look at the new levels and re-commit. For other schools, here is your chance to lay the groundwork for fundamental change at your school.
2018 will be an exciting year for us as we present new technology and programs designed to give schools more tools to progress on your sustainability pathway. Stay tuned to our newsletter or join our community to make sure you get the latest updates.