In a role-changing turn of events, students at Hopewell Valley Regional High School are grading their teachers on going green. Provided with a series of “green” activities such as recycling and turning off lights when leaving the room, Teachers who meet all the green objectives receive a green star after a review by students in Central High’s Academic Essentials class. Teachers who accumulated ten green stars won the contest.
“We were looking for fun ways to involve teachers and students in our greening initiatives,” said Carolyn McGrath Central High School Green Team member, who originally shared her idea at the District-wide Green Team meeting.
Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) also partnered with the District in this initiative and recognized the winners with tokens of appreciation.
“FoHVOS was thrilled to partner because the Green Star contest is a fantastic idea on so many levels,” added FoHVOS executive director, Lisa Wolff. “Teachers are modeling great habits applicable to students in their day-to-day lives. Plus, we really enjoy any opportunity to honor our teachers!”
With some school facility updates that are designed to reduce resource utilization and improve efficiency, the District emphasizes that the environment is a focus.
“Hopewell has a long history of reducing our carbon footprint and saving money in the process. For example, our solar panels literally generate revenue for our district,” said Superintendent Tom Smith. “In the past few years, we’ve concentrated on bringing ‘greening’ efforts into the classrooms. We have developed more environmental curricula and, last year, we saved over $65,000 simply by reducing classroom printing. I applaud the teachers for building on our environmental success.”
Green star tracking runs through the end of the school year and McGrath predicts many more teachers will complete the green star contest.