Updated: Athenian Shines at National Green Ribbon Conference

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, Watch Live: Athenians to Speak at National Green Schools Conference Tomorrow.

This morning, at 8:30am EST, while those of us on the West Coast were still sleeping in our beds, Athenian was uniquely honored at the 2012 National Green Ribbon Conference in Washington, DC.  Andrea Falken, director of the Green Ribbon Award program, opened the conference with a profile of our school.    “The Athenian is the type of school that embodies the award,” she  began.  She outlined the key programs at Athenian, touching on composting, gardening, dish crew, and AWE (for which we will forgive her understandably pronouncing “awe”).  She joked of AWE, “I didn’t ask what detention might look like there but it sure sounded intimidating.”  She went on to introduce Andrew Reckers, the only student representative asked to speak at the conference.  She shared an anecdote revealing of Andrew’s character.  Andrew, disturbed by the use of high-polluting gas-powered machines on campus, purchased a push-mower for the school.  He diligently pushed the mower around campus between classes.  Infected by Andrew’s good humor and enthusiasm, students volunteered for mowing shifts, relieving Andrew of sole responsibility for Athenian’s many acres of grass.  Andrew’s passionate and humble leadership distinguished his high school career.

After Andrea’s opening remarks, Andrew took to the podium to introduce Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  With great poise, Andrew did not appear daunted by the task of speaking before a national audience.  Click play below to view the speeches (Andrew begins at 4:15).

Green Ribbon Conference

Congratulations to Andrew for the recognition of his work!  And Congratulations to Athenian for being an inaugural Green Ribbon School!  Go Owls!  Hoot hoot!

Read US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools: Highlights from the First-Ever Honorees.

Want to learn more about greening the school?  Participate in the Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Webinar Series.