Carroll County Times
Carroll County

U.S. Department of Education names North Carroll a green ribbon school

North Carroll High School is one of two Maryland schools to be named recipients of the U.S. Department of Education's 2014 Green Ribbon Schools Award, according to a Maryland State Department of Education news release.

Travilah Elementary School in Montgomery County also received the honor. The two schools were the only entities nominated this year by the Maryland State Department of Education.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, along with Mike Boots, acting chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, made the announcement in Washington, D.C., Thursday. Forty-eight schools were honored in this year's competition, according to the release.

"Today's honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green by encompassing facility, wellness, and learning into their daily operations," Duncan said in the release. "They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs, improve health, and engage students with hands-on learning that prepares them with the thinking skills necessary to be successful in college and careers."

Governor Martin O'Malley praised the two honorees, noting that Maryland has made caring for the environment a priority.

"Over the last seven years, we've worked to build the next generation of environmental stewards to take on the challenges facing our planet," O'Malley said in the release.

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said North Carroll High and Travilah Elementary deserve to display the green ribbons.

"These award-winning schools represent the tireless efforts going on throughout Maryland, part of our State's long-term commitment to environmental education and to practices that improve our world for future generations," Lowery said in the release.

The program is in its third year. Four Maryland schools were honored with the award during the inaugural year of 2012, and last year, two more schools, along with the Montgomery County Public School System, were honored.

Federal officials recognized schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. The recognition is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security, according to the release.

The U.S. Department of Education will be publishing updated GRS competition criteria this summer, working closely with participating states, collaborating organizations and partner agencies, according to the release.