Whiting Elementary School Achieves Sustainability Certification

Whiting School received the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Bronze Certification at the NJ School Boards Association conference in Atlantic City on October 23, 2018. L-R: Randall Solomon, Executive Director Sustainable Jersey; David Trethaway, Manchester Superintendent of Schools; Christopher Titmas, Whiting School Teacher; Natalie Baranyay, Whiting School Teacher; Evelyn Swift, Whiting School Principal; Donald Webster, Jr., Manchester BOE President; Rick Dovey, President Sustainable Jersey. (Photo courtesy Manchester Township School District)

MANCHESTER – A Manchester Township School has met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools Bronze Certification.

Whiting Elementary School, helmed by Principal Evelyn Swift, was one of 111 schools in 2018 to achieve that certification.

Throughout the state, 779 schools in 310 districts participate in the program.

“We applaud the schools that have achieved certification this year. Their leadership and hard work will help New Jersey continue to evolve through their advancement of equitable, sustainable and innovative practices,” Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey, said. “Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement for schools and their school district.”

PSE&G bestowed a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey grant on the school earlier this year for an outdoor classroom, which is currently under construction.

“We have endeavored to create an innovative, dynamic, thoughtful learning environment that engages our students in the sustainable projects and the various facets of learning it offers,” Swift said. “We believe this will benefit our students’ overall development and engagement in school. This type of learning in an intentional project-based environment is a fun way to nurture our students’ natural inquiry. These hands-on, experiential learning opportunities will engage all learning styles. This enhances students’ exposure and interactions with science and math thereby igniting passion for these disciplines. Thank you to my co-grant writers, Mr. Chris Titmas and Mrs. Natalie Baranyay for their hard work in this endeavor. Their efforts helped to make this project happen.”

Sustainable Jersey for Schools, launched by Sustainable Jersey, is a voluntary program open to state public schools. The program offers financial incentives for schools to meet the programs sustainability goals. Schools perform energy audits, streamline and increase recycling efforts, and promote student and staff wellness, among other tasks.

Schools that reach the bronze level often strive to obtain the next level, silver.

“Sustainable schools provide a healthy environment, conserve resources and continually improve the well-being of the community. We are proud of the leadership of the boards of education and their superintendents, as well as the contributions of principals, teachers, education support professionals and parents in this effort,” Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, New Jersey School Boards Association executive director, said. “Congratulations to the 111 schools that achieved Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2018.”

On Oct. 23, the schools and their districts were recognized at a reception held during NJSBA Workshop 2018 in Atlantic City.