On March 2, 2020, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, in collaboration with Green Schools National Network, recognized the 2020 Best of Green Schools Award recipients onstage during the Green Schools Awards Luncheon at the Green Schools Conference and Expo. These recipients reflect the hard work being done in K-12 schools and beyond through grassroots organization, cross-sector collaboration, and hands-on experiential learning to build healthy, sustainable learning spaces and foster the next generation of 21st century leaders.

The 2020 award winners include: 

Ambassador Award

Reilly Loveland, New Buildings Institute (Portland, Oregon)

Reilly Loveland is Project Manager at the New Buildings Institute and serves as the organization’s school subject matter expert. In this role, Reilly has developed and delivered training programs for school districts across the United States, covering topics such as zero energy and zero carbon.

Business Leader Award

Grimm + Parker Architects (Virginia and Maryland)

Grimm + Parker Architects has designed 100 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects, mostly K-12 public schools. The firm’s passion is engaging with green school occupants, educating them on how to operate and maintain their high-performance buildings and integrate the school site into environmental lessons. Grimm + Parker staff regularly volunteer their time at Green Apple Day of Service projects, demystifying green school design for thousands of students and teachers.

Michelle Curreri Collaborator Award

Eco-School Network (Portland, Oregon)

Eco-School Network equips parents and students to lead school communities toward sustainability through free training and ongoing support. Their corps of 150 volunteer parent leaders engages over 35,000 K-5 students in practicing sustainability every day at school.

Higher Education Institution Award

University of North Carolina Center for Public Engagement with Science (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

The Center for Public Engagement with Science translates environmental knowledge and research into action in North Carolina and beyond. Since 2018, the Center has partnered with Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools on the Northside Outdoor Wondering and Learning Initiative. This initiative engages elementary teachers in year-long professional development that prepares them to teach outdoors and integrate environmental and sustainability education into their curriculum using interdisciplinary, inquiry-based approaches.

K-12 School Award

Common Ground High School (New Haven, Connecticut)

Founded in 1997, Common Ground High School is the nation’s longest-running environmental charter high school. Over the last five years, Common Ground has created a new core curriculum focused on food and environmental justice, built a new LEED Gold school building, supported 23 New Haven public schools in creating and mobilizing school gardens and outdoor classrooms, and launched a regional network of urban public high schools with a schoolwide focus on the environment and social justice.

School System Award

School District of Palm Beach County (Palm Beach County, Florida)

The School District of Palm Beach County’s culture of sustainability has led to impressive results in waste reduction, energy and water conservation, and alternative transportation across its 180 schools. One-on-one school consultations helped increase recycling by 1,000 tons and recent facilities upgrades reduced energy use by 10%. On the curricular side, the district’s Green Champions initiative gets students involved in environmental education projects such as wildlife habitat certification and storm drain monitoring.

Student Leader Award

Henry Anderson, Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School (Beaverton, Oregon)

As a student at Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School, Henry Anderson advocated for a silverware pilot in his cafeteria in an effort to eliminate plastic utensils. He led fundraising efforts, obtained buy-in from decision-makers and students, collaborated with school staff, and developed a training video. In addition to his school, Henry’s efforts helped kick-start similar initiatives at 20 other area schools, eliminating plastic utensils in their cafeterias. He currently attends Sunset High School.

Transformation Award

Bruce Lindsay, Brevard Public Schools (Brevard County, Florida)

Bruce Lindsay is Manager of Energy and Resources Conservation for Brevard Public Schools (BPS). In this role, Bruce works to conserve energy, water, and resources consumed by the district and serves as a champion for adopting common-sense sustainable approaches and methods. Bruce led a pilot program at BPS to conduct ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Audits in collaboration with volunteer professional engineers and Florida Institute of Technology mechanical engineering students. The pilot has since expanded and become a model for Brevard County municipalities in conducting energy audits of their government facilities.

Policymaker Award

Governor Jay Inslee (Washington State)

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee is a champion of STEM, environmental, and career education. As a result of his leadership, Washington teachers receive training to teach climate science and how it relates to green careers, ensuring all Washington students become more knowledgeable about climate change and environmental stewardship. Governor Inslee also demonstrates leadership and commitment to fighting climate change and working to promote a healthy and thriving state that supports environmental and sustainability education for its students.