Putney Central School wins environmental contest

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Photo Gallery | Putney Central School's composting program

PUTNEY — The Putney Central School won first place for a recent environmental contest put on by Windham Solid Waste Management Distribution.

PCS rated the highest for the contest in a range of 39 categories such as composting, recycling and energy efficiency. Students are part of the solution every day as they dispose their compostable items after every breakfast and lunchtime meal. WSWMD Program Coordinator Kristen Benoit said it took a team effort to reach this school's success.

"It takes a community effort to run this program, from the administration all the way down to the students, and especially for the maintenance staff," said Benoit. "So we thought it was nice to recognize the schools that are doing well."

According to Benoit, elementary and high schools in the area were given a scorecard in which they had two weeks to fill out and return. Putney Central placed first, with Newbrook Elementary and Twin Valley Elementary trailing behind for second and third.

Students between Kindergarten and eighth grade filed into the gymnasium Thursday morning where Benoit and Dan Toomey, Putney's supervisor at WSWMD, presented the school with its first-place award and explained why the students and staff earned it.

"Your score really blew me away when I got your scorecard," Benoit said. "I've got to tell you, you are really doing amazing things here."

The students and faculty joined in applause for their win and then Benoit encouraged everyone at the school to share their care for the environment outside of school.

"The town of Putney is very proud of you, the state of Vermont applauds you; keep up the good work, this is wonderful," Toomey said to the students and staff at PCS.

After the speakers presented the awards, PCS Principal Herve Pelletier noted that he believes the school would have strived for excellence even if there was no trophy attached because it is part of the "ethos" of the Putney school. He also acknowledged staff that he felt contributed to the environmental success, such as Steve Napoli, Jennifer O'Donnell, Steve Hed, Karen Saunders and everyone on the Farm to School committee. He also mentioned Alice Laughlin, the School Board chairwoman, whom he said comes up with a lot of ideas to better the school.

Pelletier directed the students in their goodbye, "Panther PRIDE" cheer. The acronym stands for Participation, Respect and Responsibility, Integrity and Independence, Dedication and Effort and Excellence.

"We're working hard to make sure the kids not only learn reading, writing math, but that we integrate these sorts of social responsibilities aspects to our programming, and this is an example of being acknowledged for that," said Pelletier.

Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 275


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