Meet the 2011, 2012 and 2014 Green Schools Fellows

Published on: 
29 Jun 2015

As a Fellow, you act as green champion within a school district for three years, implementing transformative practices and working hands-on with teachers, staff, and students to improve their daily environment.

Get to know our 2011, 2012 and 2014 Green Schools Fellows

Kristen Trovillion, Center for Green Schools Fellow for Grand Rapids Public Schools
Kristen Trovillion is an experienced sustainability manager with a proven track record of grant administration, coalition-building, and stakeholder engagement. Through her work at both the Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED) and the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability, Kristen has managed over $100 million in building retrofit, renewable energy, and fleet conversion projects. While at OED, she worked closely with school districts to finance energy efficiency projects and oversaw Indiana’s school performance contracting program. In this role, Kristen advised school officials as they evaluated options for building retrofits and navigated the performance contracting process. She also managed “Energy Action in Schools”, an energy audit and education program for school districts across Indiana. This program provided training for school facilities managers and launched “Energy Patrols”, where partnerships of students and administrators reduced energy costs through energy efficiency curriculum and hands-on behavioral audits. Kristen holds a BA in Political Science from Alma College and an MPA in Energy Policy from Indiana University – School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Kara Agnotti, Center for Green Schools Fellow for New Jersey School Board Association
Kara Agnotti is a formally educated interior designer with extensive experience in building shell and energy analysis. As a sole proprietor for four years, she focused on achieving a symbiotic relationship between design aesthetics and high performance functionality. While working as an environmental design consultant, she presented recommendations for improved use of space, waste reduction, responsible material selection, and applications to lower operating expenses. Her dedication to local economy and environmentally-conscious resources enabled Kara to deliver projects with a triple bottom line approach. Kara maintains an active social media presence which includes 50+ videos on her YouTube channel, regular blog entries, and industry highlights. These online outlets update her followers on current projects and strengthens her position as an engaged and forward-looking industry professional. Kara’s entrepreneurial approach, creative solutions, and experience in government programs align with her Green Fellow responsibilities at NJ School Boards Association. She’ll be responsible for training key school district leaders on best practices for their facilities, assisting pilot school districts to employ sustainability measures, and tracking data to prove the effectiveness of these measurable goals. Beyond her work as a Green Fellow, Kara’s an active community member and shares her free time between DVGBC, Greenbuild Hospitality Committee, two boards, and local pro-bono projects.

Phoebe Beierle, Center for Green Schools UTC Fellow for Boston Public Schools
Phoebe Beierle brings diverse work experience in the areas of green building, renewable energy, corporate social responsibility and non-profit management to her role as the Green Schools Fellow for Boston Public Schools. At both the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (RET) and The Green Roundtable, she fostered strategic program partnerships and supported the design, construction, certification, curriculum implementation and financing policies of green schools within Massachusetts. While at the RET, she served as a green champion for districts looking to build green through the MA Green Schools Initiative, an incentive program to fund green building, renewable energy and green curriculum projects at K-12 public schools. As the head of this initiative, she worked hand-in-hand with School Building Committees and facilities staff and reviewed a dozen project submissions for compliance with LEED and MA-CHPS guidelines. Phoebe is a Board member of the MA USGBC Chapter and an active participant on the Green Schools Committee. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Psychology from Oberlin College.

Farah Wissinger, Center for Green Schools UTC Fellow for Sacramento City Unified School District
Farah Wissinger received her master’s degree in Sustainable Building and has been connected with the construction industry for over 10 years, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Construction Management in 2001 from Colorado State University. While working at JE Dunn Construction, she was one of the first project managers to become LEED Accredited. After four years of work for JE Dunn, Farah decided to travel the world, visiting 17 countries and eventually landing in New Zealand where she worked for a general contractor. In 2007, Farah helped her company become leaders in the newly formed New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). Her research while attending the CSU Construction Management Graduate Program focused on how teachers can use their school building to teach sustainability. She contributed to the development of building-focused sustainability clubs in seven Poudre School District K-12 green schools, engaging students with the built environment to help create awareness and reduce natural resource consumption. Farah has participated in a green school building audit for the America’s Greenest School Competition and has taught a summer energy conservation class to middle school students in Roaring Fork School District. She continues to help teachers develop building-focused sustainability clubs that connect building occupants to the built environment and help them gain a better understanding of how to reduce their impact on the natural environment.