School System Wins
Magna Awards Grand Prize

        The American School Board Journal has announced that the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was recently selected as the grand prize winner in the publication’s 16th annual Magna Awards program. The recognition came as a result of the School System’s successful Energy Management Program, in a presentation entitled “A Win-Win Formula: Curriculum Funding and Energy Management.”
       
Chosen for the honor from among school districts with over 20,000 students, St. Tammany will receive $4,000 in scholarship money during a special presentation at the National School Boards Association’s annual conference in Chicago in early April.
        
The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.
        
In 2006, when faced with rapidly-escalating energy costs, the School Board established a comprehensive energy management program with the goal of reducing energy usage 10 percent district-wide. After launching an awareness campaign, partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to identify areas of further progress and creating a departmental energy management team, District schools have reduced energy usage by 20 percent. The energy costs avoided resulted in more funds for instructional purposes.
        
“I am so pleased that the St. Tammany Parish School Board is being recognized for its strong support of the Energy Stars program. This award highlights the hard work and dedication that have led to energy cost avoidance of more than five million dollars for our School System” said Superintendent Gayle Sloan.
        
Marilee Rist, the publisher of the American School Board Journal and an associate executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), explained, “As school districts face unprecedented financial challenges, the Magna Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovation and the bold steps that school leaders take every day. This year’s entries reflect the hard work of school boards, superintendents, and staffs who strive to meet their communities’ changing needs in creative and innovative ways.”
        
American School Board Journal initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected winners from more than 330 submissions. This year’s applicants came from more than 40 states plus Canada and the Mariana Islands.
        
The 2010 winners are highlighted in a supplement to the April issue of ASBJ and will be formally recognized on Monday, April 12, at the School Leaders Luncheon which is part of NSBA’s 70th Annual Conference.