Department of Defense Education Activity

Two Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools are among the winners of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program.

For Immediate Release — April 22, 2015 | HQ

ALEXANDRIA, VA — April 22, 2015 — ALEXANDRIA, VA. April 22, 2015-Two Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools are among the winners of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program. Charles P. Murray Elementary School and Wiesbaden Middle School were named by the Secretary of Education in an announcement on YouTube.

In total, across the country, 58 schools and 14 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. In addition, 9 colleges and universities were honored for the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. Duncan made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, DC.

"These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments," Duncan said. "U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award's history."

Charles P. Murray Elementary School, located in Fort Stewart, Georgia is a new facility, which opened in fall of 2014. The school was designed and constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED Silver certification standards. The facility meets green energy goals by providing alternative energy sources including a wind turbine and over 450 solar panel collectors installed on the roof of the school.

Students at Murray Elementary school carry reusable water bottles. The school's food service program does not serve fried foods. The cafeteria serves fresh-baked whole-wheat breads and other whole-grain products. Murray uses Green Seal cleaning products.

Wiesbaden Middle School, located in Wiesbaden (Hainerberg), Germany is committed to reducing the carbon footprint, developing healthy habits, and building leadership skills for a better future.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is prominent in the school, and three community partnerships help drive this mission. The school works closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Europe (USACE), the Defense Science and Technology Center-Europe (DSTC-E), and the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). Together, military and civilian partners support the middle school community by integrating STEM in classrooms, helping students understand practical sustainability applications of STEM, setting education and career goals, and promoting digital learning.

Teachers and students are also committed to turning off lights when not in their classrooms as well as conserving water, reducing utility costs by over $27,000 in one year.

The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 30 state education agencies, with honorees selected from 28 jurisdictions. The list of 81 total selectees includes 52 public schools and six private schools. The public schools include two charter and three magnet schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 35 elementary, 19 middle and 17 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations, from 28 of the nominating authorities. Forty-seven percent of the 2015 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body, 22 percent are rural, and one-third of the postsecondary institutions are community colleges.

More information on the federal recognition award can be found at the Department of Education Green Ribbon School Site.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.