Shreveport high school students receive national recognition for their work to protect the environment.
Caddo Magnet High School has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School. This recognition was given to three schools in Louisiana, and Magnet was the only one in northern Louisiana.
“Magnet is known as an academic, institution and powerhouse. That’s part of who we are, it’s not all of who we are,” said Robert Middleton, Principal of Caddo Magnet High School.
To be recognized as a Green Ribbon school, the school must demonstrate its efforts to reduce environmental impact and energy costs, improve health and wellbeing, and provide effective sustainability education. Magnet is one of 27 schools to be awarded this ribbon.
“I think this is an accumulation of all the hard work and dedication from the amazing officials and sponsors like Ms. Procell and students who have worked really diligently to make this campus a more sustainable place. Every little action we’ve taken over the past four years has built up to this moment,” said Ashini Modi, co-president of the Greens Club at Magnet.
Dionne Procell-Brown is the sponsor of the Greens Club at Magnet, a club committed to a variety of sustainable activities.
“I think I have the most talented group of teachers in the state of Louisiana. Ms. Procell is a wonderful example of this and her leadership in this regard is why this school is recognized as a National Green Ribbon School,” said Middleton.
Procell started at Magnet in 201 as a teacher of world history and geography. Before teaching at Magnet, she taught prep at Loyola College, where she sponsored a similar greens club.
During her time at Loyola, Procell learned a tremendous amount about sustainable education and brought with her knowledge of grants and awards for green activities. This knowledge would later fuel Magnet’s painted recycling bins, which are scattered throughout campus.
These bins made their first debut in 2014 and helped create the Green Ribbon school magnet that is today. “I wanted kids, whether it was special election classes or clubs, I wanted them to adopt a trash can,” Procell said. “Kids should be responsible for emptying the garbage cans … that’s how it started.”
In contrast to her predecessors, Procell is not a biology teacher, but finds it nice to preserve the historic country.
“When my oldest son went to Montessori, I saw what they were doing with the outdoor classroom and the nature trail, and it was just a huge inspiration for me to somehow up my game,” Procell said. “It’s kind of helped push me and inspire me to do more to help the people here at Magnet, from teachers to students, learn more about the interesting history and ecology of this special place we inhabit and each other.” better take care of it.”
How do you get a Green Ribbon?
Procell spent many hours preparing the Green Ribbon presentation, which ended up being an 18-page documentary about Magnet’s achievements and efforts in the area of environmental protection and responsibility.
These properties have been described in three pillars:
- Reduce environmental impact and costs
- Improving the health and well-being of students and staff
- ensure effective environmental and sustainability education
Each pillar had sub-categories that helped solidify the efforts Magnet has made to make its campus sustainable.
In the Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs pillar, Procell outlined a sub-category that highlighted improved water quality, efficiency and savings. In this section, Procell Magnet presented its model of environmental sustainability through service.
Procell, along with other faculty and staff, have invested their time in landscaping the campus with support from the Parent-Teacher-Student Association.
This landscaping committee seeks site-based sustainable solutions by planting pollinator-friendly, water-rich native plants.
“I’ve started to incorporate more native plants and pollinator-friendly plants over several years. We’ve started planting a number of pollinator-friendly crops for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds,” Procell said.
This is how the tenth of an acre Monarch way station came about through the track field. “Whatever we do, we want to do it on duty,” Middleton said. “In this case, it serves our local pollinators and the monarch butterfly species that are endangered because we are reducing native milkweed nationwide.”
Magnet not only works to save the monarchs, but also saves the history of the country. Ultimately, the Green Ribbon inspires students and educators to learn and teach in the country where they live.
“The space we have is phenomenal. It’s a really special place because it’s a really great place to do place-based education,” said Procell. “Place-Based Education, your children are more likely to remember everything they learn when they have a connection to the space where they are.”
Makenzie Boucher is a reporter at the Shreveport Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.