FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2015
Dave Parker, Communications Director, 444-9844
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, 444-9725
Lt. Gov. McLean Receives Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship Award
HELENA – Yesterday, at the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) meeting, Lt. Gov. Angela McLean received the “Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship” award in recognition of her work to promote energy efficiency and conservation in Montana schools through her SMART Schools Initiative. The award is given as a partnership between the NLGA and General Electric.
“In my twenty years as a high school teacher, I was fortunate to see the innovation of Montana students and teachers. Through the SMART Schools Challenge we’re harnessing that innovation to promote health and save schools money through energy efficiency measures,” McLean said. “I’m humbled to receive this award on behalf of the students and teachers making a difference across Montana.”
The SMART Schools Challenge promotes a simple message: if we use less energy and promote health, we will save money that can be used in classroom instruction and students will be better prepared to learn. SMART stands for: Saving Money and Resources Today. Schools have already saved money and recycled more than 40,000 pounds of material since the beginning of the school year. The Challenge is a partnership between McLean and the U.S. Green Building Council Montana Chapter and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
In the first year of the initiative, 47 schools have signed up to take the challenge. Examples of actions taken by schools include:
- At Red Lodge High School, students have made all of their sporting events “green” by using recyclable food containers;
- At Hellgate High School in Missoula, students have successfully advocated to expand solar panels to power an industrial composting tub that can compost more than 100 pounds of food waste per day;
- At Sleeping Giant Middle School in Livingston, students have created an aquaponics system to increase knowledge of local food and promote science education;
- And at Boulder Elementary School, students and staff have started an electronics recycling program to save money in order to fund their after school program.
In making the announcement, Paul Doucette of General Electric said, “The award for Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship is intended to recognize achievements by a lieutenant governor to achieve a balance between U.S. environmental concerns and energy imperatives. Lt. Gov. McLean’s projects using energy efficiency strategies to reduce costs in schools and thereby ensure more funding is available for instruction is exactly the kind of innovative approach to leadership that we want to recognize. We are proud of our association with the National Lieutenant Governors Association and delighted to recognize the creative leadership displayed by Lt. Gov. McLean.”
Schools can find more information about the Challenge, and sign up at SmartSchools.MT.Gov.