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Stevenson High School: A Model For a Sustainable Lifestyle

If anyone doubts that we can live an energy efficient, sustainable lifestyle look no further than District 125 and Adlai E. Stevenson High School (SHS) in Lincolnshire.

During the 2007-2008 school year, the Board of Education and District Administration established their Green Committee. Students, Staff, Administration, Board Members, Community and Business participants are active members of the committee.

This pioneering effort to evaluate and reduce their carbon footprint has been nationally recognized. Stevenson was the second school in the State to receive an Energy Star Award back in 2001. SHS has been selected to receive their second Energy Star Award for energy efficiency and conservation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The goal is to become Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Stevenson has incorporated fundamental elements of sustainability while providing students the opportunity to become our next generation of energy stewards. SHS's comprehensive program involves the reduction, elimination and conservation of products ending up in a landfill; conservation of electricity, natural gas, and vehicle fossil fuel consumption; investing in energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting; retro fitting buildings with recycled carpet tiles; sustainable landscape design including a rooftop garden that lowers the building ceiling temperature by as much as 30 degrees; campus wide recycling and composting; rainwater collection; and the implementation of renewable, clean energy generation such as photovoltaic (PV) solar for electricity, solar thermal for heating hot water, and a small wind turbine for the production of electricity.

We had the pleasure of visiting Stevenson last week and met with Dave Wilms: AP Environmental Science Instructor, Mark Michelini: Assistant Superintendent For Business; and Barry Orgeron: Director of Facilities. We toured the campus and received a first hand look at how a sustainable plan is being managed and implemented. The visit was to provide support information on an Illinois Clean Energy Foundation grant request for renewable energy education and a carbon neutral classroom.

This progressive, forward thinking exhibits why Stevenson High has been perennially recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek as one of the best public high schools in America.

A big thanks to District 125, the Administration, the Students, and the Staff for showing us a sustainable lifestyle is now happening every day at SHS. Because of your vision and efforts you have created a model for our children, grandchildren and communities on how to become part of the solution.

 

 

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