Moreno Valley Unified School District named 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Moreno Valley Unified School District
Anahi Velasco, Director of Communications and Community Engagement
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U.S. Secretary of Education Names Moreno Valley Unified School District a 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Moreno Valley Unified School District is among the 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardees.
The Moreno Valley Unified School District was nominated by the California Department of Education for its efforts in three pillars: (1) reduced environmental impact and costs, (2) improved health and wellness, and (3) effective environmental education.
“Our district’s vision is to empower students to become future-ready and positively impact the world,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “It starts with us. By making changes throughout our organization’s processes and infrastructure, we are creating a better future for our students. Although there were several individuals across the district who helped contribute to this award, we want to acknowledge a few key members of our team who played an essential role in each of the three pillars: Jim Burleson, Executive Director of Transportation; Anthony Pipkins, Executive Director of Maintenance and Operations, and Dr. Esperanza Arce, Chief Academic Officer. Everyone on their team played an essential role in the implementation of the programs and initiatives under their direction. ”
A few highlights of our pillars include:
The district created an Energy Specialist Manager position responsible for optimizing the use of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; irrigation; and other energy-using systems. The Energy Specialist Manager also connects with every school and teacher to share energy conservation, health and wellness, and educational resources.
The Transportation Department transitioned its diesel buses to electric and responsible fuels; the fleet now includes 42 electric school buses, 28 Compressed Natural Gas buses, and 31 propane buses.
The district uses funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to provide elementary school students with additional fresh fruits and vegetables as a snack outside regular meal service.
The district has implemented the Junior Scholars Program as part of the curriculum for middle school students, including a semester where students solve real-world problems. Past projects include solving pollution in the ocean, hydraulic vehicles, climate change and environmental degradation.
North Ridge Elementary School features the Model Environmental Science Area (MESA), where students learn about healthy eating, botany, and wildlife.
Across the country, 26 schools, 11 districts, and four postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 18 states.
“Moreno Valley Unified School District is one of 11 districts to be selected as an awardee by the U.S. Department of Education,” said School Board President Susan Smith. “Our students are the reason for all of the decisions we make and programs that we implement. We are sincerely proud of this level of recognition.”
The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 41 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.