Future looks bright for Green Team’s Green Ambassador program

single-meta-cal June 27, 2024

The celebration culminating the successful first year of Green Team’s Green Ambassador Program acknowledged more than just past achievements. It looked to the future, too.

As Green Team introduced a curriculum in Huntsville schools designed to raise awareness about taking care of the world we live in, that introduction eyes continued growth of the program.

“Our goal is to grow to every school in the city, public and private,” said Landscape Management and Green Team Director Brian Walker.

In the 2023-2024 school year, the Green Ambassador Program planted roots in 20 schools. And there is more to come.

“We’re proud of what this program has been and the potential that it has,” Green Team Education Specialist Joel Donelan said. “We feel like we have still not even scratched the surface yet.”

The Green Ambassador awards program honored students and teachers at the May 16 ceremony at the Jaycee Building in John Hunt Park.

The program recognized honorees for their dedication and commitment to environmental education and other sustainable initiatives. Schools were commended for recycling programs, building community gardens, outdoor education, upcycled art and hydroponics along with other education curriculum.

“When we started the Green Ambassador Program, we wanted to expand Green Team’s mission in the schools and really connect with students about the importance of taking care of our environment and our community,” Walker said. “We are really proud of the work that has been done in our first year. We had 20 schools create a Green Ambassador team in their schools and over 9,000 students were involved.”

Donelan said the awards ceremony featured more than just a celebration of students and teachers leading sustainability efforts.

“Our goal is to create a network of resources and to build community for all those who are looking to make sure that we leave this city and planet better than we found it,” he said.

A collection of outstanding sponsors supported the Green Ambassador Program and representatives presented awards. Sponsors are Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, Reworld, Redstone Federal Credit Union and Indorama Ventures.

Award winners:

Green Guardian Educator of the Year

Lynn McQueen, Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School

Green Guardian Educator of the Year nominees

Jaida Allen, Academy for Science and Foreign Language

Christine King, Williams Middle

Stephanie McCreary, Williams Middle

Jay Stark, Montessori School

Chelsea Montgomery, Montessori School

Dr. Lindsay Schliesman, Monte Sano Elementary

Dr. Tracy Carter-McKinnes, Rolling Hills Elementary

Dr. Timothy Wilkinson, Rolling Hills Elementary

Green Ambassador Leader Student Awards

Myka Martin, Challenger Middle

Lily Neal, Montessori School

Alexa Park, Montessori School

Green Ambassador School Awards

First place: New Century Technology High, Williams Middle, Monte Sano Elementary

Second place: Challenger Elementary, Farley Elementary, Montessori School

Third place: Holy Spirit School, McDonnell Elementary

Participant: Rolling Hills Elementary, Academy of Science and Foreign Language, Chapman Elementary, Academy for Arts and Academics, Lakewood Elementary, Ridgecrest Elementary, McNair Junior, Challenger Middle, Chapman Middle, Morris Middle, Grissom High, Huntsville High

Indorama Upcycled Art Award

McDonnell Elementary: Amelia Sanchez, Yasmin Ramirez, Amy Arteaga, Justin Quintero, David Garcia, Alexis Mendez

Williams Middle: Za’Riah Persons, Arianna Van Horn, A’Zariyhah Lott, Desrin Lavender, Elijah Laster