The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is excited to announce the recipients of the 2021–2022 Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship. This unique fellowship supports K–12 district-level staff from around the U.S. who are committed to greening their school system at all levels, including the buildings, operations and curriculum. The fellowship will enable these outstanding leaders to access a peer network for sharing of best practices, obtaining professional development support and building leadership skills. By providing these individuals an opportunity to focus on their professional growth and technical capacity, together we can further our goals of achieving green schools for all students.
The 2021–22 fellowship cohort is made up of a diverse group of school systems representing 114,000 students, of whom 82% receive free and reduced lunch.
- Joanna Pi-Sunyer, sustainability analyst, Baltimore City Public Schools
- Jackie Wilson, sustainability coordinator, Bend La Pine School District
- Sofia Peltz, sustainability coordinator, Berkeley Unified School District
- Greg McKenna, sustainability resource director, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy
- Cara Tirado, K–12 science and sustainability coordinator, Carson City School District
These five leaders were selected for their commitment to progressing green and healthy school policies, programs and practices that will result in transformational change for the students, staff and broader community with which they work. Some fellows will be implementing behavior change goals and carbon reduction targets outlined in their districts’ sustainability or strategic plan, while others will be partnering closely with food and nutrition services and curriculum departments to encourage students to be outside as much as possible during the school day. One common theme among this year’s cohort is the shift from system-level planning to implementation of the school districts’ sustainability or carbon reduction commitments.
The 2021–22 fellows will work closely with the Center for Green Schools and its partner organizations to advance knowledge, share resources and build leadership capacity in their school systems, communities and beyond. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend and network at events, including the School Sustainability Leaders’ Annual Summit and the Green Schools Conference. Fellows will also participate in targeted training on courageous leadership, effective storytelling, equity and sustainability, and more. Additionally, each fellow and their district staff will receive complimentary access to USGBC’s resources, including Learning Lab, the Green Classroom Professional Certificate, Arc, USGBC’s education platform, and a LEED Coach for school building projects.
We are proud to be supporting this group of dedicated changemakers who are leading the way for others. Each fellow is pursuing opportunities to make their organization healthier, more environmentally and socially conscious, and a place where real-world learning opportunities exist for all students. Congratulations to the 2021–22 Leaders in Sustainability Fellowship recipients!