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Green Schools Steering Committee

The Steering Committee:
The purpose of the Green Schools Steering Committee is to plan future events and initiatives around a few key programs that can benefit schools along the Central Coast. The Committee focuses their efforts through individual outreach including attending PTA Meetings, speaking with School Board Officials and reaching out to key players in the local school districts. 

Meet The Steering Committee:

Teresa "Tree" Lees

Teresa has firsthand experience in all things “greenschools” such as permaculture education, classroom teaching, curriculum development, Garden Based Learning (GBL), school gardens and nature based education. She has woven together a career that combines her love for children and their education with her love for the planet. Teresa, aka “Tree” is the CREEC Network Coordinator at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education where for ten years now, she serves as the clearinghouse for environmental education curriculum and green schools throughout Region 8 (SLO, SB, Kern and Ventura counties). Teresa has a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction and two teaching credentials. 

She has been both a classroom teacher and a Naturalist for outdoor schools for a decade combined.

Teresa also spent a decade as the Children’s Education Coordinator at the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden where she created interpretive garden areas and kids’ programs including a children’s Food Forest, Native Peoples & Plants garden, solar fountain, and straw bale benches. She currently volunteers to organize the SLO Permaculture Guild and the Global Family children’s garden at City Farm and is a Garden Nutrition Educator with the CalFresh Program of UCCE. She has served on the Green School Steering Committee for over six years.

Todd Hansen

Todd is an architect with RRM Design Group with a focus of providing educational spaces for K-12 students. Todd incorporates green design principals to create healthy sustainable environments both indoors and out. Todd also works with the CCGBC’s Green Schools Committee and has assisted with grant applications for special funding for green projects.

When he is not at work Todd is an active sailor and enjoyed coaching the Morro Bay Yacht Club Juniors sailing program.

Victoria Carranza

In the Spring of 2013, OCE launched a Fellowship, bringing Victoria Carranza on board as the first participant in a new project of One Cool Earth meant to support local change-makers in their work, financially and organizationally. First, the Fellowship provided a monthly stipend to an individual for one year, buying the Fellow time to address important community issues that don’t necessarily pay up-front. Victoria leveraged her fellowship over the past two years to strengthen OCE’s programming, secure long-term funding, and launch new programs. Among her major achievements:

  • Launched a composting pilot program at Georgia Brown Elementary and expanded to three additional schools.
  • Lead youth project to raise funds for and install largest rainwater catchment system at any Paso Robles school.
  • Rehabilitated the Lewis Middle School garden.
  • Wrote and won nearly $2M in funding for low-impact development at Lucia Mar and Paso Robles schools.
  • She has also leveraged funding for a new garden-based nutrition and exercise program at Liberty High School and is holding healthy food tastings, gardening, making good food hip.

Amanda Schere 
Amanda works for the Cuesta Sustainability Resource Center as the Sustainability Education Specialist providing science kits on renewable energy for K-12 public schools in San Luis Obispo County. Amanda also works with the CCGBC’s Green Schools Committee. She has been coordinating the Gateway to Green Schools program and in the future will be supporting the Environmental Education pillar and Green Ribbon applications. Outside of this work,she enjoys riding horses and teaching horseback riding lessons for children.

Sarah Trauger 
Sarah Trauger is the Rideshare Program Coordinator at the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments. As such she manages our county’s largest Safe Routes to School education and encouragement program. For the last two years the program has been funded by Caltrans’s Active Transportation Program. The program provides for on-bike education in students’ P.E. classes, encouragement activities such as Walk/Bike to School Days and Bike Rodeos, management of the Safe Routes to School Taskforce, safety assemblies, active transportation maps, and traffic gardens or cycle tracks like the one you see on the blacktop here at Monterey Rd. Elementary School.

Key Programs:
The Mayors's Alliance for Green Schools unites mayors from across the country around a common goal: bringing the benefits of green schools to their local communities. The Mayor's Alliance works in conjunction with the USGBC and its national network of chapters to harness the leadership and creativity of local community leaders nationwide. Members are currently displayed on the USGBC Mayor's Alliance webpage, so check out their website to see if your mayor is on the list!

The State Water Board is developing a grant program DROPS to help California schools address water in their community. DROPS focuses on projects that reduce stormwater pollution, conserve water, augment water supply, save energy, increase awareness of water resource sustainability and reduce dry weather runoff. This initiative was implemented in response to Governor Jerry Brown's Drought State of Emergency proclamation. All K-12 School Districts are eligible to apply and applications will open on September 8, 2014. To learn more about DROPS and how your District can apply for this grant, visit DROPS or read through the DROPS Guidelines.

The California Clean Energy Jobs Act is a new initiative by the California Energy Commission to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation in schools. Under this initiative, roughly up to $550 million annually is available for appropriation. Eligible agencies- including county offices of education, school districts, charter schools and state special schools- can request funding by submitting an energy expenditure plan and application to the California Energy Commission. For more information on Prop 39, your district's eligibility, and how to apply, visit Prop 39.

Would you like to join the Green Schools Steering Committee?



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