Caption: The Eco Team is the driving force behind the school's recent Platinum certification
For the second year in a row, Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School is certified Platinum through Ontario EcoSchools, and the lone school in Grand Erie to achieve this particular environmental milestone.
EcoSchools’ goals are to nurture environmental leaders, reduce the ecological footprint of schools, and build environmentally responsible school communities. Schools report on programs and activities throughout the year, and those efforts are assessed and recognized by the organization through bronze, silver, or gold certification if they meet certain benchmarks. The Platinum certification allows high-achieving schools to take their efforts to the next level, strengthening existing environmental programs and empowering students to become advocates and stewards for the planet.
“Our school has been certified through EcoSchools for the past six years, and we’re really starting to see this become a part of our culture and identity, and a tremendous source of pride,” said teacher and Eco Team advisor Tom Sitak. “It’s a whole-school program that extends to the community, and provides meaningful ways to engage students as environmental leaders.”
For Pauline Johnson C & VS, obtaining the top level of certification is the culmination of several years’ worth of commitment and dedication. Its hardworking Eco Club is the driving force of positive environmental change at the school, and sees members working with community partners on projects to improve the local surroundings while increasing awareness about simple things that can make a big impact.
“It’s been an amazing experience working with great people on projects like our No Idling campaign, which spreads information about how harmful exhaust fumes are, and how easy it is to reduce idling,” said Grade 10 student Jayd Sitzer of the Eco Club. “We also perform regular energy audits throughout the school to point out wasteful uses of energy, and encourage classrooms to switch off things like lights and computers.”
By deepening its commitment to environmental stewardship and implementing plans and programs that make a difference, Pauline Johnson C & VS is leading the way for our planet.