Governor's Environmental Excellence Award

Governor's Environmental Excellence Award
Posted on 12/14/2017

Environmental Education (Educator-Led)
Christa Delaney and Jim House

Egg Harbor Township High School teachers Christa Delaney and Jim House have taken environmental education to new levels, turning classroom lessons into tangible results: improved energy efficiency, reduced pollution levels and saved tax dollars. Delaney’s and House’s efforts with students have decreased district energy usage by 35 percent over the past four years and increased the high school’s recycling rate from 700 pounds over a 4-week period in 2012, to 29,000 pounds over four weeks in 2016. These successes were due to student efforts, behavior modifications and basic education. Because of those efforts and others designed to improve overall sustainability, the school has earned several prestigious environmental honors, including Green Ribbon School Awards from the New Jersey and U.S. Departments of Education, two Sustainable Champion awards from Sustainable Jersey for Schools, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Award Certification. Under Delaney’s and House’s leadership, students have formed an Eco-Action team; audited facility energy efficiency, waste disposal and other environmental impact areas; and instituted environmental-themed curricula. The school also has adopted an outdoor air quality index flag program to promote awareness about pollution reduction and the importance of limiting vehicle idling. Students also have developed a classroom composting program and use the final product in the school garden and in lab activities across multiple fields of study. Delaney’s and House’s students also apply their lessons at home: Egg Harbor Township High School offers a free service called GreenQuest that encourages township residents to analyze their personal impact on the environment and see how their homes compare to others in the area.

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