Leon County Named District Finalist in Florida's Green School Awards

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Tallahassee, FL - September 26, 2012

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Environmental Education has named 16 finalists for the 2011-2012 Florida Green School Awards program.

Three finalists from K-12 public and private schools statewide have been selected in each of the five categories: students, classrooms, teachers, schools and school districts that have implemented resource-saving projects. One state winner within each category will be announced at the Florida Green Schools Awards Ceremony and Banquet scheduled for Oct. 18, 2012. This year, the awards banquet will take place at the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel.

“How often can you point to projects that support learning, create healthier schools, protect the environment and generate over $20 Million in gross cost savings for schools,” said Greg Ira, Director of the Department’s Office of Environmental Education. “I can’t think of a better opportunity to save taxpayer dollars than these low or no-cost projects, and we are only scratching the surface.”

A panel of expert judges selected the finalists based on green school initiatives put in place during the 2011-2012 school year. These initiatives included exemplary environmental projects, recycling programs, green service learning projects, and efforts to make school buildings and communities more sustainable and efficient.
This year, Florida Power and Light Company has been the signature sponsor for the Florida Green School Network, a partnership between the Department, Department of Health, Department of Education, Florida’s Foundation and Sustainable Florida which comprise the Florida Green School Network and manage the Florida Green School Awards program. Supporting sponsors for this year’s event include Agriculture in the Classroom and Publix. The Florida Green School Awards program is administered by Florida’s Foundation.

The finalists for the 2011-2012 Florida Green School Awards include:

Student Finalists
- Lisa Paniale, Audubon Elementary School, Brevard County
- Laurie Mecca (P. J. OWL Team), Pine Jog Elementary, Palm Beach County
- Wayne Oelfke, Ft. White High School, Columbia County

Class Finalists
- Bridget Cleary, Learning Gate Community School, Hillsborough County
- Deborah Pate, A.K. Suter Elementary School, Escambia County
- Hector Escobedo, TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Miami-Dade County
- Neil Gleitz, Pine View School, Sarasota County

Teacher Finalists
- Alexis Salcedo, TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Miami-Dade County
- Sharon Cutler, Lawton Chiles Elementary School, Hillsborough County
- Wendy Doromal, Timber Creek High School, Orange County

School Finalists
- Driftwood Middle School AHW, Broward County
- Sandalwood High School, Duval County
- Spring Valley School, Pinellas County

School District Finalists
- Duval County School District
- Leon County School District
- Polk County School District


About Florida Green School Awards
The Florida Green School Awards program will be held the evening before the Learn Green Conference – Florida’s only statewide conference addressing Green School initiatives.
If you are interested in obtaining tickets to the awards banquet, please visit http://flgreenschoolawards.eventbrite.com. Information on the Learn Green Conference is available at: http://www.learngreenconference.com/.

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