Secondary School Green Team News

Secondary school Green Teams take on real leadership roles in their school and community to make conservation a success. Twelve of the 29 registered secondary Green Teams thus far have submitted applications to receive awards for the work they’ve done this year.

Clare Jenkins and the Eastside Catholic School Green Team conducted a waste audit and found a substantial amount of contamination in their recycling and food scrap containers. To address this problem, a Green Team specialist helped train team members to monitor waste stations in the classroom. The Green Team also worked with the school facilities staff to install liquid waste buckets in the lunchroom to eliminate much of the liquid contamination found in the recycling containers.

Karl Karkainen’s leadership students at Enumclaw Middle School added recycling bins to the hallway this year to supplement the regular lunchroom and classroom recycling bins. Students emptied the hallway bins twice each week. Hallway garbage has been reduced significantly.

The Green Team students at the Environmental and Adventure School in the Lake Washington School District researched information, interviewed custodians, emailed district personnel, and collected data, to achieve their conservation and waste reduction goals. Team leader, Brian Healy, says they owe their successes to teamwork.

Kilo Middle school in Federal Way is in its first year of recycling in the cafeteria. The Green Team students supported the efforts of custodian and recycling leader Ken Waterman. The team helped with sorting, announcements, and instructional “Coug Tube” videos.

YES - Lakota MS 1Teachers Laurie Sukola, Rasa Conklin, and Juli Arns, the Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Academy, and the Lakota Middle School Green Team designed and participated in several projects throughout this school year. They hosted a Green Team Trash on a Tarp event, designed and constructed a pollinator garden, and created QR barcode garden education signs.

Susan Armbruster and the Rainier Middle School Green TeamRainierMS-ASD-Students-GardenRevitalization received a mini-grant to help revitalize old garden beds on campus. In addition to making posters and encouraging students to recycle more, the team is using the gardens to inspire more students to get involved and understand why it’s important to waste less.


Carlene Dowling and Sam Hagen worked with the Redmond Middle School Green Team to decrease litter and paper waste. First, the team cleaned the storm water retention pond and picked up litter. Next, they created a double-sided printing policy and encouraged all teachers to adopt the policy in their classrooms.

Amy Schexnayder, Andrew Hill, and the Secondary Learning Center Green Team recycled Keurig coffee cups and used the coffee for compost. They also offered the cups for use in local elementary schools for crafts or plantings. Staff reduced their use of these cups after seeing how fast they accumulated.

John Bahr and the Skyview Junior High Green Team designed and built an outdoor classroom. They constructed eight picnic tables in Skyview’s Trail Center to promote understanding of natural habitats and immerse students in environmental learning.

Cedar River Middle, Tahoma Junior High, and Tahoma Middle schools participatedtss Toolkit cover in the Tahoma Sustainability Summit. At the summit, Green Team members shared information about their projects, played games that increased their recycling knowledge, and planned a waste reduction competition.

The student Green Team at Two Rivers School, with leadership from teachers Laurie Weinkauf and Elise Cooksley, had a goal to turn the whole courtyard into garden beds. Over several years, they obtained grants to teach the students about gardening, building soil and making compost, planning and building a drip system, and using a rain barrel. As a result, students were able to have school community meals, create meals for the homeless, donate produce to the food bank, and teach a variety of culinary and food preservation techniques.