Rachel Gutter

Six years ago, we launched the National Green Schools Campaign. Back then, if you had told me that just a few years later, several thousand people would be showing up at a national green schools conference to be keynoted by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, I would have said you were crazy. But what you and I both know is that green schools is a topic that brings so many different kinds of people together. In fact, right before the holidays, in a meeting with Secretary Duncan, he indicated that he too was astounded by the level of enthusiasm and engagement related to the launch of the new Green Ribbon Schools Program. As founding partners of the National Green Schools Conference, we are thrilled that for the second time, we’ll get to see all of our closest friends, biggest advocates and future champions all in one place. I hope you’ll join the members of the Center for Green Schools team from Feb. 27-29 in Denver for a truly incredible lineup of people, events and education.
There will be so much to do with so little time, but here is what the Center team is looking forward to the most at the conference. Don’t miss these great events!
 Emily Knupp, K-12 Associate: The conference will be the first official debut of the Green Apple Day of Service! I can’t wait to tell the world about this exciting endeavor, and let conference attendees know how they can be a part of it. It will be great to be at the conference alongside the USGBC Colorado Chapter and their Green Schools Committee. They are a national leader in the green building movement, and will be at the Center for Green Schools booth to answer questions about their local work, and their plans for Day of Service!

 Nate Allen, Green Schools Advocacy Lead: I've had the pleasure of working closely with Colorado State Representative Andy Kerr for a few years now, and through his role as Chair of the Colorado Green Schools Caucus as well as his work with colleagues in the legislature and USGBC chapter volunteers, he’s been a fantastic champion for this movement. I’m excited that he’ll have the honor of introducing another incredible advocate for our future, conference keynoter (and USGBC Board Member) Majora Carter.

In the first few months of its pilot year, the Green Ribbon Schools Program has already united conservatives and liberals, state agencies and non-profits, and schools and their communities to a level of collaboration that has the potential to bring the green schools movement to unforeseen heights. Kudos to the Green Schools National Conference for highlighting this critical program through three breakout sessions and conference keynote speaker U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

As an official Chipotle Master Burrito Ambassador, I couldn’t be more proud that my favorite restaurant chain is supporting this conference for the second

 Anisa Baldwin Metzger, Center for Green Schools Fellows Manager: As our team arrives in Denver for the conference, two teachers selected as the “Coolest Teachers” by our Green Schools Fellows in Boston and Sacramento will be on their way to Antarctica with renowned polar explorer Robert Swan. They’ll be sharing their experience daily on our website, and we’ll be collecting and sending questions to them from conference attendees.
I've been hard at work with McGraw Hill Foundation and researchers from across the country on the most accessible, most up-to-date, and most useful publication we have yet seen about the research into how school buildings affect student health and learning. It will be released just prior to the conference, and I look forward to sharing it with attendees to bolster everyone’s ability to talk about the importance of green schools for our students.

 Jenny Wiedower, K-12 Manager: I'm excited that the Center will debut the Green Classroom Professional Certificate program via web demo at our booth (#906 in the expo hall), and offer conference-goers the opportunity to be the first in their communities to pursue the certificate. Educators attending the Green Schools National Conference are already sustainability leaders in their schools; with this program, they receive the tools to turn their classrooms into living laboratories for health, resource efficiency and better learning.
Keynote speaker Majora Carter is sure to leave everyone in awe of her inspiring story and work in the South Bronx. As a member of the USGBC Board of Directors, Majora has led and supported initiatives across our organization to make green schools and buildings available to all.

Mallory Shelter, Communications Associate: I'll be attending the Conference as the Center's social media and blogging guru, making sure all of our audiences have the most current information about what's going on at the conference. I'm excited to share with attendees updates we've recently made to Facebook and Twitter pages. I'll also be blogging throughout the week with updates from our events at the conference, as well as general happenings. Be sure to check out our various accounts to get up-to-date information on what's going on in Denver!