Columbia, SC—Principal Julius Scott of Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences (DFES) has been named Richland County’s Conservation Principal of the year by the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Scott was nominated for this award by Jane Hiller, Education Coordinator for Sonoco Recycling and Director of the SC Green Steps School certification and award program.
“Outstanding environmental education rarely happens at a school without the support of the administration,” says Hiller, and there is no question that the education initiatives at DFES are exceptional. With projects ranging from a mini-farm to Trout in the Classroom to schoolwide commercial composting, DFES is a national role model for environmental education. Because of DFES’s leadership in food waste reduction through commercial composting, other schools in Lexington and Greenville Counties are piloting similar projects, and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control produced a video showcasing the impact a school can have on the waste stream. Recently, DFES was selected to serve as an Environmental Sister School to a top environmental school in the state of Washington.
In all of these efforts, Principal Scott provides steady support: he attends Green Steps School mentor meetings, visits classrooms to cheerlead projects and celebrate successes, and prioritizes funding for environmental efforts. He is also dedicated to sharing DFES’s hard earned success stories with others.
“Last summer, Julius traveled to Beaufort in the summer to address the Environmental Education Association of SC (EEASC) about DFES’s organic collection program,” says Hiller, providing examples of the ways Principal Scott goes above and beyond to spread the word about the importance of school conservation efforts. “He also spoke at another EEASC workshop this winter about ‘Green Messaging’ [communicating about the environment] for diverse populations. His experiences as an African-American administrator in a racially diverse school helped many of us” reconsider the importance of “messaging that resonates with all students.”
“The effort that DFES has put forth is exemplary and personifies excellence in conservation and education,” says Richland SWCD Commissioner Jeff Laney. “The Richland SWCD is honored and proud to recognize their efforts.”
Scott’s award will be presented at the Richland SWCD’s Awards Banquet on May 17th.
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Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government under the local direction of five-member Boards of Commissioners. In South Carolina, Conservation District boundaries conform to County boundaries. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use of natural resources for the benefit of the citizens of Richland County.
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone (803) 576-2080
Fax (803) 576-2088