EDAD alum's school district receives Green Ribbon School Award
31 Aug 2020
EDAD alum Dr. Travis Miller’s school district was named a 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee.
Bayard Public Schools was one of 11 districts across the country honored for its efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
“Being recognized as a Green Ribbon School District is the culmination of a decade of work at all levels of our organization," Miller said in a News Channel Nebraska article.
Dr. Travis W. Miller, Superintendent of Bayard Public Schools, received a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the Department of Educational Administration. Another EDAD Husker scholar took the lead in authoring the district's application. Kelley Rice, Bayard Jr./Sr. High School Principal, authored and submitted the application for the recognition. Mrs. Rice is completing a Ph.D. through UNL and is planning to defend her dissertation this semester.
In spite of being a small rural school district, Bayard Public Schools embraced opportunities to create change and utilized a variety of strategic partnerships and long-term improvement planning and action to provide a high-quality learning environment for students and staff.
These partnerships include the Natural Resources District, the Nebraska Forest Service, the City of Bayard, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, and private companies. Recently, they also partnered with Waste Connections, to have an on-site recycling receptacle on school property.
The school district made the switch to LED lighting in classrooms, hallways, offices, and several other locations. They put sensor-based water fixtures that reduce water consumption in their bathrooms and replaced most of the traditional drinking fountains with water bottle filler stations.
In order to improve the health and wellness of students and staff, a Coordinated School Health program was implemented, including a Grab and Go/Breakfast program, an afterschool snack program, a “recess before lunch” schedule, and the installation of Project Fit America fitness equipment.
Finally, they engaged in effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates STEM, Civics, and green career pathways through the utilization of a newly constructed greenhouse, the use of an aquaponics system to grow fish and vegetables that are utilized in the school nutrition program, and utilization of a school garden.
“This recognition is a result of the leadership long-term investments by the Board of Education in efficiency and a healthy learning environment for students."