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Keysor Elementary Honored Among 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

On Wednesday, September 19, staff members from Keysor Elementary and the Kirkwood School District accepted the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School award at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. Pictured left to right: Robin Wellman, Keysor teacher; Traci Jansen, Keysor teacher; Dr. Alyssa Taylor, interim Keysor principal; Jen Bartin, Keysor teacher; and Dr. Michele Condon, Kirkwood School District superintendent.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Education Director Louisa Koch, Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy James L. Elder, and Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council Anisa Heming joined Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan to congratulate Keysor on their achievements.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) nominated Keysor. Keysor was announced as a 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honoree in May 2018.

For this federal recognition selection, schools must demonstrate reduction of environmental impacts and costs; improvement in the health and wellness of students and staff; and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.

Keysor demonstrated accomplishments in all three areas by implementing many sustainable practices including caring for the ecological environment by increasing conservation efforts in diverting waste and reducing our energy consumption; providing and promoting opportunities for health and well-being; and educating students, staff, family members, neighboring schools and community in sustainability practices at Keysor, including composting, recycling, energy conservation, pollinators, year-round gardening and waste reduction.

“At Keysor, we are committed to reducing environmental impact, improving the health and wellness of our students and staff, and providing an effective environmental and sustainability education,” said Keysor principal Dr. Alyssa Taylor. “Our school community and our Kirkwood community embrace these commitments, and we are extremely excited to accept and celebrate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honor.”

At the event, 46 schools and six districts were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education. In addition, six colleges and universities were honored with the Postsecondary Sustainability Award.  Representatives from honored schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions received sustainably crafted plaques in recognition of their achievements.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 40 public schools, including two magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-five percent of the 2018 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.