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Team Travels to DC to Accept Award

Green Ribbon EH Honored Among  2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy James L. Elder and Manager of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, Phoebe Beierle joined Assistant U.S. Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan and Acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Neil A. Jacobs today to congratulate Eden Hall Upper Elementary School on the school's achievements at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

Eden Hall Upper Elementary was nominated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Students at Eden Hall have an environment rich in learning opportunities, and they regularly participate in activities that are focused on engaging in a healthy and sustainable environment. 

Sustainable features include natural lighting through skylights; plants and trees native to Pennsylvania on the school grounds; no-mow native grasses on the grounds; heat-reclaiming devices for efficiency; room sensors to monitor and control carbon dioxide, lighting, and heat; wood paneling to keep noise down; and a maker roof to reflect heat.  Together, these features allow for excellent learning programs that provide students at EHUES with the knowledge and experiences to have healthy bodies, healthy minds, and a healthy environment as they learn and grow. 

Gifted classes in all three grades work with Chatham University’s School for Sustainability to explore and participate in a variety of activities that broaden their awareness of the connections between food, energy, nature, science, and mathematics.  Educators discover how to take those same principles of sustainability into their classrooms and create fun and educational lessons with broad applicability.Green Ribbon Collage

Dr. Joseph Domagala, Assistant Principal at Eden Hall stated “this is a significant honor for our building, and is a true testament to the work, skill, and talents that our students, faculty and staff display each and every day.  This designation gives recognition for the sustainable efforts and education, health and wellness initiatives, and reduced environmental impacts that we focus on as a school community.  These efforts directly tie in with our district values of providing diverse learning opportunities, both in and outside the classroom.” 

Gifted teachers Jennifer Kopach and Joanna Sovek stated “We are honored to be recognized for our initiative of embracing a more sustainable learning environment at Eden Hall and our Pine-Richland community. It has been an on-going collaborative effort with our students, faculty, and community members to generate awareness and cultivate a better understanding of how changing the habits or mindset of one person can trickle down to another.”


At the event, 35 schools and 14 districts were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education.  Representatives from selectees received sustainably crafted plaques in recognition of their achievements.

Dr. Domagala, Ms. Kopach, Ms. Sovek, and Dr. Kristen Justus, assistant superintendent for elementary education and curriculum, traveled to D.C. to accept the award.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states. The selectees include 25 public schools, including three magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as 10 nonpublic schools. Over a third of the 2019 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 53 honorees.  More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.