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Setting the Green Standard

Russ Barton and LorrieNorth High may soon be growing its own vegetables and herbs to be used in Parkway food preparation and by the community.

Science teachers Russ Barton and Lorrie Crossett recently received the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Gold Star Grant totaling $15,000.

In the grant application, Barton and Crossett asked for money to fund the following items:

  • A greenhouse as an instructional space for science students
  • Raised vegetable and herb beds that can be used by the community, faculty and food service
  • Thermal imaging cameras that students can use to determine the efficiency of windows, doors, etc., within the community. The students would also educate home owners or provide home owners with energy saving materials.

“All of this will significantly increase our community outreach to teach about science and the environment,” says North High Principal Dr. Jenny Marquart. 

emerson execs and jenny marquartAlong with Emerson executives, Marquart made a surprise visit to Barton’s and Crossett’s classrooms to congratulate them on their team award.

Marquart also showed the Emerson executives the outside patio area that will be converted to a greenhouse.  North High science students will grow vegetables and herbs in the greenhouse before transferring them to permanent beds outside.

Emerson donates annually to teachers’ educational initiatives through its Gold Star Grant Program, which is open to current and recent Excellence in Teaching award recipients.  

Recently, Barton also received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Growing Green Award under education. Erik Lueders, Parkway’s sustainability and purchasing manager, nominated Barton for the award because of Barton’s efforts relating to sustainability in the classroom and community.