And the Green Ribbon goes to…Duchesne Academy!

Remember when we had two of our Catholic schools earn Blue Ribbon Awards this school year?

Now there’s more exciting news: The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Duchesne Academy is among the 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees — the FIRST ever Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Omaha to earn this honor.

What is a Green Ribbon Award?

Across the country, 39 schools, 11 districts, and five post-secondary institutions are honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education.

Duchesne’s sustainability accomplishments include:

  • Installing a solar panel array
  • Recycling or composting 78% of all waste
  • Using food grown on campus in lunches
  • Earning a 91 Energy Star Rating for building efficiency

What school staff has to say

“Our classes use less paper, we grow more of our own food, and we’re finding new ways to teach sustainable principles in our classes,” said Assistant Principal Eric Krakowski, who is the school’s Sustainability Program Coordinator.

“We believe incorporating sustainable practices into classes and activities now will empower our students to be leaders in a world increasingly aware of the need to reduce waste,” said Head of School Meg Brudney.

Why this is important

In Laudato Si – Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical, he calls for us to examine our hears and minds, reframe our social values and take action for global unification. As Catholics, we are encouraged to protect our common home and be good stewards of God’s great creation. This entails not only in social justice and other matters, but in care toward our shared environment as well.

“I am inspired by Duchesne’s sincere and significant efforts to embed their care for God’s Creation into their learning experiences and everyday operations,” said Dr. Michael Ashton, superintendent.

The list of all selected Green Ribbon schools, districts, colleges and universities, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 55 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars upon which this award is based can be found here.


Congratulations to Duchesne Academy!

Beyond the Green Ribbon, you can read more about Duchesne’s very cool solar panels, still going strong while the building is temporarily closed.

And you can read more about our what makes all of our Catholic Schools special.