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Energy Reduction Earns Green Hills School Big Honor

Green Hills School students present a program on how the school became an ENERGY STAR-certified school.
Principal Jonathan Perkins of Green Hills School in Harlan County accepts a plaque from Energy Advisor Sherry Sexton and Cumberland Valley Electric for achieving Energy Star certification. Mr. Perkins and Supt. Michael Howard addressed the student body and applauded their efforts and help. Photo: Jeff Phillips, Harlan County Schools
Faculty of Green Hills Elementary school join Superintendent Mike Howard (far left), Cumberland Valley's Rich Prewitt (second from left), Principal Jonathan Perkins (third from left), and Harlan County School Energy Manager Sherry Sexton (third from right).
Cumberland Valley Electric's Rich Prewitt with Superintendent Mike Howard.

Students, faculty, staff, and the administration of Green Hills Elementary School were honored recently after helping the school earn ENERGY STAR status–something only a fourth of the schools across the nation earn.

“Achieving the ENERGY STAR certification qualifies your building as one of the most energy-efficient facilities in the commonwealth and demonstrates exceptional teamwork among all stakeholders that committed to this goal and operate this building,” wrote Governor Matt Bevin in the proclamation presented to Principal Jonathan Perkins. “This level of excellence reflects favorably on your community’s foresight to provide a better environment for future generations.”

Sherry Sexton, who serves the Harlan County School District as an energy manager through the Kentucky School Boards Association, said, “I am so proud of the students and staff at Green Hills for being ENERGY STAR certified. This means that you are among the top 25 percent of schools in America for energy efficiency.”

Sexton said “working together,” the students, staff, and administration saved $42,562.81 over the last three years and cut 438,212 kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption.

“Your efforts are not only saving money for your school but also helping to preserve the environment,” said Sexton.

Perkins told students, teachers, and staff how proud he was of the accomplishment, noting the school will have an ENERGY STAR plaque placed at the front of the building.

“It is all of us working together,” said Perkins. “We would like to thank all those who have worked to make Green Hills as energy efficient as possible. It takes conscientious effort from everyone to make a real difference. Luckily, our students and staff at Green Hills have stepped up to meet the challenge. So thank you to everyone involved, and keep up the good work.”

Cumberland Valley Electric Cooperative Director of Member Services Rich Prewitt spoke during the student assembly, noting what a tremendous honor it is for the school to receive the ENERGY STAR status.

He told students school personnel put a lot of “sweat and tears” into making sure they have a good school to attend. He said by assisting with energy savings, the students help the administration and school board have additional funds to do other things for them at their school.

“Congratulations from Cumberland Valley Electric,” said Prewitt. “We are awfully proud of you guys and the great things you do here at Green Hills Elementary.”

Superintendent Mike Howard told students Green Hills is the first school in the county to receive this designation.

“I appreciate all your hard work,” he said.

Howard noted school board member Wallace Napier has been instrumental in pushing forward with energy initiatives for the school district. “Mr. Napier is a very big supporter of saving energy,” he said.

Students Destiny Middleton, Amaya Brooks, and Tyla Saylor prepared and presented a Powerpoint presentation to help those in attendance identify ways to improve energy efficiency in their daily lives.

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