Green Schools Fellows
To effectively and rapidly transform the environments in which our children learn, the Center for Green Schools Fellowship Program places full-time sustainability officers in school districts across the country. The Center selects, trains and supports Fellows to implement strategies to reduce resource use and emissions, improve school occupant health, and teach students about global environmental issues.
What is the Green Schools Fellowship Program?
In July 2011, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council began placing three-year sustainability Fellows in school districts with the help of corporate sponsors. We know that, even in these challenging economic times, school districts are doing everything they can to provide their students with a quality education and a safe place to learn. With capital and operating budgets stretched thin, there are often more problems than funds to address them. At the Center for Green Schools, we help school districts optimize school environments for learning, conserve resources and put money back into the classroom where it belongs.
In order to bring this program to selected school districts, the Center for Green Schools works with district leadership to find the funding to select, train and support their Green Schools Fellow. The program provides partner school districts with a dedicated, on-site expert who collaborates with leadership and staff to bring sustainable and environmentally responsible practices into schools. The Fellows provide clear direction, comprehensive training and valuable resources for students, staff and faculty. In fact, our two 2011 Center for Green Schools UTC Fellows leveraged over $1 Million for their districts in just their first year through grants, sponsorships and donated services.
The Fellowship Program has its roots in 2008, in the Katrina-stricken Recovery School District in New Orleans. USGBC saw the profound impact and value of having a sustainability champion providing on-the-ground support and expertise needed to rebuild the community’s devastated school infrastructure. Led and supported by USGBC’s New Orleans Green Building Coordinator, the district has since fully embraced environmentally sound practices: 35 LEED®-certified or registered schools are now open or under construction and tremendous improvements have been made to facility operations and maintenance practices.
All aspects of the school environment are impacted positively when someone is hired to manage sustainability within a school system. Sustainability-related staff act as connectors between departments, keepers of knowledge that draws the lines between building performance and health, and each one’s success on the job is crucial to the well-being of thousands of children and adults. The Center has seen that supporting these staff can support an entire system of positive action at a school district.
2011 Center for Green Schools UTC Fellows
Phoebe Beierle, Boston Public Schools
Farah Wissinger, Sacramento City Unified School District
2013 Center for Green Schools Fellow
Kara Angotti, New Jersey School Board Association Meet the Fellows
Lisa Kensler, Auburn University, Assistant Professor EFLT
Cynthia Uline, San Diego State University, Professor and Director of National Center for the 21st Century Schoolhouse
For more information about the Center for Green Schools Fellowship program, please contact: