Marshall County Teacher Receives National "Best of Green Schools" Award

January 27, 2015

CHARLESTON, WV. - The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is proud to announce that John Marshall High School teacher, Mark Swiger of Wheeling, W.Va. is a 2014 "Best of Green Schools" recipient. Recognized in the Ambassador category​ by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Swiger is one of 10 national leaders and innovators in school sustainability and environmental efforts to receive the award for his leadership and dedication to greener practices and sustainable operations tied to student learning.

Active locally, statewide and nationally, Swiger has been instrumental in promoting the West Virginia Sustainable Schools (WVSS) initiative by integrating sustainable programming in curriculum, health and wellness, and facilities to schools in Marshall County. Led by the WVDE, the WVSS is a participant in the federal Green Ribbons Schools program and serves as a recognition program for schools that exemplify a commitment to sustainable practices that are integrated into the curriculum and community.

"I am flattered that the Center for Green Schools recognizes someone at the grassroots level with an award of this magnitude," said Swiger. "Without WVSS and our ability to network with an awesome group of stakeholders, this recognition wouldn't have happened. I'm honored, but also humble in the sense that everyone in WVSS works just as hard. For that reason, I see this as a shared award with all of our stakeholders."

"Selecting the Best of Green Schools honorees is an exciting and challenging process, as there are so many fantastic examples of efforts being made in communities large and small," said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools. "Some of the honorees go about their work quietly, others are in public positions and have the attention of a national audience. Every one of the honorees is a leader, taking risks, setting an example for others, innovating and diligently pursuing a world in which every student attends a green school within this generation. Mark is no exception, his efforts to engage learners of all ages and secure financing for important initiatives have been nothing short of tremendous."

The recipients of the Best of Green Schools 2014 will receive recognition throughout the year from the USGBC as well as access to the Green Classroom Professional Certificate Program, a tool to help school staff and educators identify what supports or impedes healthy, resource efficient and environmentally sustainable learning spaces. Please visit for information on each of this year’s honorees.

Contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Communications Office for more information at (304) 558-2699.

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