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Our schools play a critical role in achieving the Commonwealth’s clean energy goals – not only through physical improvements to school buildings that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut community energy costs and keep dollars in the local economy –but also in the work they are doing to prepare the next generation of thinkers to be more energy independent.

Proposed sustainable roof from 2014 honoree Boston Latin School and their YouthCan team

Sustainable roof proposed by 2014 honoree Boston Latin School and their YouthCan team

It’s important to recognize those schools and districts that are taking on this challenge in an exceptional way. That’s why, for the past two years, Massachusetts has participated in a federal program that recognizes schools working hard to educate future generations about clean energy and improvements in Massachusetts school buildings. This year, the Commonwealth will again participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition program during the 2014-2015 school year.

Encompassing not just clean energy but a whole realm of sustainability issues, the award honors schools and districts that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and delivering effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

Previous Massachusetts honorees include the Boston Latin School, Berkshire School in Sheffield, Manchester-Essex Regional Middle-High School, Quincy High School, and the Acton Public Schools and Acton-Boxborough Regional School District.green ribbon schools logo

If you are a designated Green Community already tracking your energy accomplishments, you have a head start in the application process and you may be a good candidate. If your school is going above and beyond and is interested in participating, you can find more information on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website. Additional energy education resources are available from the Department of Energy Resources.

Written By:


Assistant Secretary of Communications and Public Affairs

Mary-Leah Assad is Assistant Secretary of Communications and Public Affairs. Before that, as Acting Deputy Director of the Green Communities Division, she assisted communities in their clean energy goals. Mary-Leah has played a variety of communications roles throughout the Commonwealth, and worked as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of Children and Families . In her free time she loves to cook, practice yoga and travel to St. John USVI.

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