Kenston High School is celebrating Earth Day by being named a 2013 National Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The high school is being honored for its' exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
Kenston is one of 64 schools in the country to receive this award. Our high school is the only school in Ohio who will be honored along with 53 other public and 10 private schools at an awards ceremony this summer in Washington, D.C.
"On the heels of our Renewable Energy Dedication, I am pleased to have Kenston High School selected as the only school in the state to be recognized with a National Green Ribbon," said Dr. Robert A. Lee, Superintendent. "This is a reflection of the collaborative efforts of our faculty, staff, parents and the townships of Auburn and Bainbridge to provide our students with important lessons by modeling "Go Green" initiatives and creating healthier learning environments."
Kenston's Green Ribbon highlights
Wind turbine brings alternative-energies course to life
Kenston High School (KHS), has committed to an Energy Improvement Plan that has helped the school save roughly 30,456 watts through lighting retrofits and 500,000 gallons of water through elimination of most irrigation and the installation low-flow fixtures. Perhaps most notable is that KHS produces 70 percent of its own energy on-site with its Aeronautica 750 kW Wind Turbine. The turbine produces approximately 1.3 million Kilowatt hours per year. The school also installed a solar thermal booster system that produces 79,200 BTU and is used to heat the water system.
In addition to together providing 75 percent of the school's energy consumption, the wind turbine and solar thermal booster system are both used to enrich the curriculum at KHS. The systems provide real-time data that is utilized by students in courses such as Alternative Energies and AP Environmental Science. Conservation is encouraged and taught through the school's participation in the "Schools for Water" initiative through the Blue Planet Network. KHS adopted a school in Kenya and raised money to provide them with clean drinking water.
Along with the school's installation of accessible recycling bins, students efforts have helped increase KHS' recycling rate by 1.6 tons since 2009 through the production of video announcements and participation in the student organization group, Envirothon. In addition to recycling, Envirothon participation includes beach cleanup, environmental awareness education for elementary students, as well as other projects around campus.
With help from the community, the school recently completed construction on the first phase of Kenston Trails. When finished, the one mile trail will be used by science classes, health classes, athletic teams, and community members. A rain garden, outdoor amphitheater, and outdoor classrooms are also used to enrich the curriculum.
KHS students are encouraged to remain fit and healthy. 35 percent of food purchased is local. KHS is also a three time recipient of the Buckeye Best Healthy Schools Gold Award and a 2013 recipient of the Carol M. White Physical Education Grant. A significant amount of the money has gone to purchase age-appropriate fitness equipment for students K-12. KHS also hosted a free community fitness day known as, "Play Blue in Motion." The event attracted 1,200 community members and included demonstrations, nutrition workshops, fitness assessments, cooking demonstrations, and much more.