By. Atasha James, Principal of Leckie Elementary School, District of Columbia Public Schools


We’re ready to play outside more than ever with warmer air and longer days on the horizon in Washington, D.C. As we spring ahead, the teachers and staff here at Leckie Elementary School are also thinking about adjustments we can make to better care for the planet and set a good example within our community. It’s one thing to say go green and please take your recyclable bags to the grocery store, but how can we really make an impact?


As a school leader, I’ve come to understand that change is in my locus of control. I can make an impact. Being “green” is having an awareness, asking tough questions, and holding folks accountable in service of the school community. Through my relationships with the U.S. Green Building Council and others with a passion for green and sustainable living, I am compelled to think differently. I also know that I don’t have to be the expert in this area either. I just have to be open to the possibilities. I am so excited to see everyone in Pittsburgh at the Green Schools Conference and Expo, to soak in the energy of the experience, and to share the dreams and ideas I take away with my staff when I return.


Adopting a green mindset does not have to be difficult. For example, consider how much paper, toilet paper, and daily waste a school produces. Don’t bother doing the math, it’s too much! At Leckie, we’ve decided to use a web-based education platform that will allow us to go green. No more paper reports! Hundreds of reams of paper saved.


Choosing to go digital is just the tip of the iceberg and probably something we should’ve done a long time ago. Making sure our building is a safe place for the school community is a big responsibility, and managing our behavior is just one aspect of school illegal buy ambien online safety. We take for granted that the air is clean, the water is safe, and the food is fresh. What if it’s not? Who do we turn to? Who do we ask?  The Green Schools National Network and the Center for Green Schools of course!


Altbeit very serious issues, having the Center for Green Schools and the Green Schools National Network as reliable and inspiring partners make being green fun and sexy!  They’ve opened my eyes and heart to serving with a new perspective. I may not have a green thumb, know how to compost, or make my own simple syrup, but my green friends do and for now, that’s good enough. They’ll bring me along as long as I’m open to it. We’re improving our campus, one light fixture, one ream of paper, and one garden plot at a time. You have to start somewhere.


Looking forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh,


Atasha M. James



Atasha James serves as the Principal of Leckie Elementary School for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). In this role, she leads 60 Faculty and Staff who serve Leckie’s 525 scholars to ensure all students achieve at their highest potential and have a love of school and learning.


At Leckie, 93 percent of the students say they love their school and would recommend it to a friend! Prior to becoming Principal, Atasha taught at both the Elementary and Middle School levels before working with Teacher Educator Institute at The State University of New York at Buffalo, while completing her doctoral studies. Atasha has led schools in Buffalo City Schools and Anne Arundel County Schools before making DCPS her home.


In recognition of her achievements, DCPS offered Atasha a three-year appointment; she was awarded the Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Leaders. Atasha is a Mary Jane Fellow Mentor Principal and is among a short list of school leaders recognized for closing the achievement gap in both math and reading for three consecutive years.