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Camden Hills Regional High School Wins Two National Environmental Education Awards

Release Date: 05/29/2013
Contact Information: Emily Zimmerman, (617) 918-1037

(Boston, Mass. – May 29, 2013) – Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Maine has been awarded a 2012 Presidential Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) for installing a wind turbine on the school’s campus. Camden Hills’ teacher, Margo Murphy also won the 2013 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for her leadership and work on this project.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation's natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States and EPA have recognized young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation's air, water, land, and ecology.

“PEYA awards are an important way to recognize environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation's young people. We offer our congratulations to Camden Hills Regional High School for their ambition and leadership,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Bringing in renewable energy will improve overall efficiency and reduce energy costs in the school. I am impressed by the dedication and commitment it took to complete this project.”

“I am very proud of our school with the leadership of Margo Murphy for its leadership and dedication to understanding environmental needs and executing a plan to improve our footprint,” said Dr. Nick Ithomitis, Camden Hills Regional High School Principal.

Since 2004, when a group of students, called the Windplanners, initiated an effort to understand the energy usage of their school, Camden Hills Regional High School students have made efficiency upgrades, researched renewable options, fundraised, partnered with school, town and state officials and eventually installed a wind turbine on the Rockport campus.

According to the school, the turbine is the first magnetic drive wind turbine of its size in Maine. It was student purchased and is a school owned and operated machine, perhaps the first in the nation at this scale. The turbine is expected to produce 100,000 kWh for the first year, which is currently about ten percent of the school’s electricity usage. Over the next few years, through further efficiency upgrades and conservation measures, the school anticipates producing 20 percent of their electricity from wind.

This project has won two national awards. Camden Hills Regional High School teacher, Margo Murphy oversaw and helped bring the wind turbine project to fruition. She won a 2013 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, which is an award given in partnership by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and EPA. Ms. Murphy has been a science teacher for 27 years. She connects students with the environment through classroom, extra-curricular and her work on the Teacher Advisory Council for the National Academy of Science and Maine’s leadership team looking at the Next Generation Science Standards.

More information on Presidential Environmental Youth Awards (http://www2.epa.gov/education/presidents-environmental-youth-award)

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