U.S. Department of Education Names EH 2019 Green Ribbon School

Thursday, May 23, 2019 | 1:14 PM


The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Eden Hall Upper Elementary School in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania is among the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.

Eden Hall Upper Elementary School was nominated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students at Eden Hall have an environment rich in learning opportunities, and they regularly participate in activities that are focused on engaging in a healthy and sustainable environment.

Sustainable features include natural lighting through skylights; plants and trees native to Pennsylvania on the school grounds; no-mow native grasses on the grounds; heat-reclaiming devices for efficiency; room sensors to monitor and control carbon dioxide, lighting, and heat; wood paneling to keep noise down; and a maker roof to reflect heat. Together, these features allow for excellent learning programs that provide students at EHUES with the knowledge and experiences to have healthy bodies, healthy minds, and a healthy environment as they learn and grow.

Eden Hall’s wellness committee focuses on identifying and implementing initiatives that benefit the overall health and well-being of students and staff. Recently, the committee, with support from the parent-teacher organization, has provided stationary bikes that are available for use by all students and staff in the building.

Gifted classes in all three grades work with Chatham University’s School for Sustainability to explore and participate in a variety of activities that broaden their awareness of the connections between food, energy, nature, science, and mathematics. Educators discover how to take those same principles of sustainability into their classrooms and create fun and educational lessons with broad applicability.

Dr. Joseph Domagala, Assistant Principal at Eden Hall stated “this is a significant honor for our building, and is a true testament to the work, skill, and talents that our students, faculty and staff display each and every day. This designation gives recognition for the sustainable efforts and education, health and wellness initiatives, and reduced environmental impacts that we focus on as a school community. These efforts directly tie in with our district values of providing diverse learning opportunities, both in and outside the classroom.”

Gifted teachers Jennifer Kopach and Joanna Sovek stated “We are honored to be recognized for our initiative of embracing a more sustainable learning environment at Eden Hall and our Pine-Richland community. It has been an on-going collaborative effort with our students, faculty, and community members to generate awareness and cultivate a better understanding of how changing the habits or mindset of one person can trickle down to another. We are working towards our ultimate goal of bringing positive changes to our environment and overall well-being as committed members for a greener world.”

Across the country, 35 schools, 14 districts, and four postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states. The selectees include 25 public schools, including three magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as 10 nonpublic schools. Thirty-six percent of the 2019 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 53 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 can be found here.