"Shifting normal" — That was the buzzword Dan Schnitzer, sustainability coordinator for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, repeated when discussing the district's nomination for the Department of Education's Green Ribbon award.
One of two districts in the state up for recognition, CHCCS distinguished itself through a multi-pronged approach.
In Schnitzer's first year on the job, he has helped shift lighting from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent and LED bulbs across the district, led the charge to reduce paper use through the reuse of sheets and the replacement of printers with multi-function copiers, and overseen the commencement of a compost program in the middle and elementary schools.
There is a real sense that sustainability programming can be seamlessly integrated with traditional learning, said Sally Massengale, science specialist at Glenwood Elementary School.
At McDougle Middle School, for example, students recently led the charge to have a solar panel installed. Ruben Giral, a sixth and seventh grade teacher at the school, said the solar panels provided more than just a hands-on example of circuitry and reusable energy.