Members of Northern Elementary School’s Energy Team and chorus join forces for a song about energy conservation during a ceremony last week at Scott County High School.
Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 5:00 am
The lights were bright on the stage of the Scott County High School auditorium last week as state and county officials gathered to honor students and administrators from around the district.
But rest assured, the lights were turned off when everyone left the room.
The program was being held to mark the district’s accomplishments in conserving energy, which led to it being the first Kentucky school to receive an EPA Energy Star Top Performer Award. Several schools — Northern Elementary, Anne Mason Elementary, Scott County High School, Cardinal Academy, Ninth Grade School, and Scott County Middle School — were presented their first Energy Star award.
Also, Georgetown Middle School was presented an Energy Star Award for the second straight year and was recognized as one of only three schools in the state to win a Green Ribbon Schools award.
“We will honor, not just the administration and the teachers, but more importantly the students, because the students are what made the difference,” said Chip Southworth during his remarks to open the program. “And we want to celebrate that today with a lot of awards.”
Many students were on hand, including the student Energy Team and the chorus from Northern Elementary. The two groups teamed up to sing a song about conserving energy. It wasn’t the only original composition on the subject as members of the Scott County High School’s Crimson Tweets and Great Scott singing groups teamed up to close the program with a song on the subject.
Before the closing song a parade of students and school staff members were honored as all but two Scott County School District campuses have earned Energy Star Awards, which are presented by the EPA for energy conservation.
The conservation has reaped many benefits for the district, including a monetary savings of more than $700,000 in energy costs.
“Let me tell you, as superintendent, I am thrilled to death that we have been able to save money,” said Patricia Putty. “That’s great. But the truth of the matter is, as a former biology teacher, I have to tell you the greatest reward is that you, the students, are more conscientious and you’re holding us more accountable to be good stewards of energy and to protect mother nature.”
Overall, the districts energy rating is now 79 out of possible 100. The EPA awards the Top Performer for organizations with an average rating of 75 or better.
Putty said the benefits have also extended as the initiative has led the students to take ownership in the district’s building and facilities.
“It has manifest itself not just in energy saving, but also in cleanliness,” she said. “The kids are more aware of their facility and their environment and more protective of it. It’s teaching them responsibility and teaching them leadership.”
The program has also brought the staff and students around the district closer, she said.
“It’s not just our teachers, but the ones that have impressed me so much is our custodial staff,” Putty said. “They have worked right along with kids and they have become the teachers of energy conservation as much as the classroom teachers.”
Len Peters, secretary of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet, closed the ceremony, passing along the congratulations of Gov. Steve Beshear.
“These enthusiastic students and staff and raised awareness of the benefits energy savings and have initiated cultural changes that have extended beyond the classroom,” he said. “To the students, and teachers of Scott County Schools, I can tell you, excellence of this caliber is no accident...
“Congratulations to all of you on a job well done.”