Middle School Celebrates Being “Green”

Hampton Bays Middle School is one of only 78 schools in the entire nation to be named a 2012 Green Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education. Green Ribbon Schools save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement, according to the Department of Education’s website.

“Another groundbreaking day at Hampton Bays,” remarked Middle School Principal Dennis Schug. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are a United States Green Ribbon School.”

To celebrate the Green Ribbon School achievement, the district held “Green Pride Day” on Friday, May 11, at the Middle School. Those in attendance included United States Congressman Tim Bishop; New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.; Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman; Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst; Southampton Town Council members Bridget Fleming and Chris Nuzzi; Long Island Power Authority Chief Operating Officer Michael D. Hervey; BBS Architecture Principal Roger P. Smith; Hampton Bays Board of Education members Chris Garvey, Rich Joslin, and Dorothy Capuano; and students from the Middle School, as well as members from the incoming 2012 class. Mr. Thiele, Mr. Schneiderman, and Ms. Throne-Holst presented proclamations to the school during the ceremony.

“The Green Ribbon is the beginning, not the end,” said Hampton Bays District Superintendent Lars Clemensen. “We have a responsibility to continue reducing our impact on the environment. Let’s continue to do better and better every single day.” He added that the school plans to harness solar and wind energy by 2013 but will need to raise $10,000 to do so, and that members of the Hampton Bays Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and Civic Associations pledged a total of $1,000 to get the ball rolling on the fundraising.

Other presentations during the Green Ribbon School celebration included eighth grader Lily Spellman singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” seventh grader Nicole Salas reading her essay “Reflections on a Green School,” and a “green” pledge by eighth graders Cameron Heaney and Jake Fotopoulos. Mr. Schug also introduced Josh Lein (title?), an advocate for sustainability in the lunchroom, to tell the assembled crowd that the school is working toward phasing out Styrofoam lunch trays and will replace them with environmentally friendly compostable trays.