And the Winner Is….

Last week marked another historic milestone for the green schools movement.

The U.S Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools winners came to Washington, DC to collect their high honors and celebrate their success. At the ceremony, these 78 winning schools were congratulated by an impressive list of leaders, including Education Secretary Duncan, EPA Administrator Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Sutley, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and many others (including our Education team!).

You can watch the opening plenary remarks here and view photos of the event on the Department of Education's Flickr page here.

Earth Day Network was especially proud to see several of our partner schools on hand to receive the prestigious award for their incredible green schools accomplishments, including the Secondary Academy for Success (WA), Evergreen Charter School (NC) and Rosa Parks Elementary School (KY).

Each winning school displayed an amazing array of green accolades and talents that the Department of Education has summarized in the following report: Highlights on the 2012 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (click on the “highlights document”). This examination is by no means an exhaustive survey of all their winners, but the 40 page report does point toward several overarching facets of success for any curious future applicant.

Congratulations to all 78 winners of the first-ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award. You deserve it. Thank you for your leadership!

Now, it’s on to the second year!