FREMONT, Calif. — IC Bus announced the winner of its first annual contest to find America’s Greenest School.
Sophomore Alexander Chen’s essay won the title for Fremont’s Irvington High School, earning a plug-in hybrid electric school bus from IC Bus and a $5,000 scholarship for Chen. Chen’s teacher and the school's green coordinator, Clint Johns, wins $3,000 for green school supplies.
Nearly 2,000 students from more than 760 schools nationwide competed for the coveted title of America's Greenest School. IC Bus developed the contest to encourage bus ridership as the most eco-friendly way to travel to and from school. Contest judges narrowed the field to 10 finalists before the voting was turned over to the public via the IC Bus Website.
“This award proves hard work pays dividends over time," said Principal Pete Murchison at a ceremony held at the school on Friday. "The bus is a perfect acknowledgment for socially responsible efforts on the part of the students and the Irvington High School community."
The city's mayor, Bob Wasserman, and a representative from Congressman Pete Stark's office were also in attendance to present Chen with a certificate.
Irvington was the second school in California to be recognized as an EnergyStar school. The school has reduced its energy use by one-third with steps such as connecting computers to power strips, installing timers on exterior lighting and reprogramming classroom thermostats.
Chen’s essay also pointed out that students are encouraged to recycle, including a food scrap recycling program that diverts waste from the landfill.
When asked about his experience participating in America's Greenest School, Chen said, "It was awesome, and I hope this contest will inspire future students to step up and voice their opinions."