Three Schools Win Awards for Energy Conservation

Three Guilford County Schools were honored this year by the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, including one school that is considered one of the best in the nation.

Colfax Elementary received a NEED Youth Award as both the National Elementary School of the Year and the North Carolina Elementary School of the Year. Northern Middle was recognized as the North Carolina Junior School of the Year, and Northern High was named the North Carolina Senior School of the Year.

All three schools, and nearly 80 more, are participants in the district's Energy WISE program, which uses student-led teams to identify and eliminate energy waste at the school level. With more than 12 million square feet of building space, GCS implemented the Energy WISE program in 2010-11 as part of the 2012 Strategic Plan initiative to develop a district-wide master energy plan.

"We are so proud of all of our Energy WISE teams, but especially proud to have these schools recognized by NEED as among the best in the country," says Carol Graydon, GCS energy engineer. "Our students are doing a great job as conservation role models, not just at school but at home and in the community too."

Since the Energy WISE program began in 2010-11, GCS has had state-level NEED winners every year, including Stokesdale Elementary, Sedgefield Elementary, Lindley Elementary, Northern Middle, Ragsdale High, Andrews High and Southern High. Sedgefield Elementary was also recognized as the National Rookie Elementary School of the Year in 2011.

As 2013 NEED award winners, all three schools are invited to attend the NEED Youth Awards Program June 21 to 24 in Washington, D.C., where they will tour the nation's capital, meet with government officials and receive their awards. In addition, their stories will be published in the NEED annual report.