LAND O'LAKES — The Pasco County School District has won another honor for its conservation efforts.
This time, it received the first ever Governor's Serve to Preserve: Green School Award, besting other finalists from Pinellas and Charlotte counties.
The award recognized Pasco for its combined programs in recycling, energy efficiency and environmental education. It included such initiatives as "green" construction of new schools and water conservation programs that, all together, have saved the district thousands of dollars.
"It was such a solid moment for us," science curriculum supervisor Laura Hill said. "Being able to work collaboratively with recycling and energy as a whole district made (the district's effort) even more powerful."
State leaders praised Pasco and all the other finalists for their efforts to improve the environment, adding that they hoped to see other schools implement the ideas and come up with others.
"Alternative and 'green' energy sources hold great promise, and we are investing in the minds that will help shape our energy future," said Vincent M. Dolan, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy Florida, which sponsored the awards.
District's past awards
Pasco schools have long been recognized for their efforts in this area.
• The American School Board Journal honored Pasco's environmental education program with a Magna Award for innovative thinking in public education last year. • The district's recycling program received the same award a year earlier.
• The recycling program also has earned recognition from the National Recycling Coalition and Recycle Florida Today, among other organizations.
Recycling coordinator Karen Bryant noted the programs' longevity, along with their strong support in the community and among students, have helped them succeed while raising awareness of the importance they serve.
"It's a good time to be into conservation efforts," she said. "We are striving to set goals ever higher."
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.