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Champions of Change - Julius Marks and Morton Middle School

Champions of Change - Live Green Lexington, Morton and Julius Marks Set Bar High for Green Efforts

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Champions of Change - Live Green Lexington Champions of Change - Live Green Lexington

Morton, Julius Marks set bar high for ‘green’ efforts!

On the heels of Earth Day, students and staff in Fayette County Public Schools celebrated federal, state, and local awards for their outstanding environmentally conscious efforts. 

Morton Middle has been deemed a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School because of its demonstrated excellence in the three pillars of sustainability: environmental literacy, student wellness, and energy efficiency. This is the sixth consecutive year that an FCPS school has received this highest national award for sustainable schools. 

In addition, Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools named Morton’s Carla Trisko as its Teacher of the Year. She accepted the award April 27 from the Kentucky Environmental Education Council during the KGHS/KY NEED Youth Summit in Frankfort. 

Trisko, a seventh-grade science teacher here for 12 years, serves as Morton’s sustainability coordinator. “Making our planet, school, and community more conscience of protecting what we know as a healthy existence must be of key importance or there will be no life,” said Trisko, who advocates taking small steps that turn into big strides. “Begin with recycling and reducing waste, and the rest just seems to fall into place. Students will usually mirror and respect a good leader who works hard, so make sure that you are working as hard as the students and they will most definitely take your lead.” 

That strategy has also worked well at Julius Marks Elementary, which earned the state-level Outstanding Elementary School award from the National Energy Education Development Project (KY NEED). This honor includes funding for the school’s green team to attend and compete at June’s national convention in Washington, accompanied by science lab teacher and club adviser Amanda Heltzel.  

“Our team project focused on raising awareness of the importance of conserving non-renewable fossil fuels,” Heltzel said. “We did this with our schoolwide Taste – Don’t Waste food sampling survey, energy skits broadcast at school and in the community, recycling awareness activities, renewable energy educational activities for intermediate students, and all grade levels learning about the importance of eating locally grown food from our school garden.”

* Click to view the Julius Marks project highlights

Meanwhile in Fayette County, Live Green Lexington announced Andrea Marcum of Arlington Elementary as Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She was also singled out for leading her students in writing a musical to promote Arlington in the Recycling Challenge. In addition, the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council was recognized as Environmental Stewards of the Year.

Live Green Lexington also saluted schools for recycling and waste reduction, water quality, energy education, and E=USE2. The latter – which stands for “Education leads to Understanding Sustainability, Energy and the Environment” – is a six-step FCPS program that guides hands-on investigations of energy data, energy awareness campaigns, and school improvement projects.  Click for April 27, 2017 LFUCG Ceremony Slideshow.

Click for a full list of the 2017 Live Green Lexington School Recognition.

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