Learn from the Experts
Clean Energy School Leaders Network
Generation180 is growing a network of school leaders who have flipped the switch to clean energy at their schools and will inspire and support others in adopting solar and related clean energy technologies. Meet our featured school leaders by clicking below to learn more about their clean energy success stories.
If you are just getting started with your own solar campaign, explore our Solar For All Schools Help Desk to find resources and answers to frequently asked questions. If you need further support, you can click below to ask us a question. We will leverage the expertise of our leaders to help you get the answers and resources you need.
Featured Clean Energy Leaders
School Board Members and Superintendents
Batesville, ARRead MoreLess
Michael Hester, Superintendent of Batesville School District, initiated Arkansas’ the state’s first school district solar panel project in 2018. This project is expected to save the district more than 2 million dollars. He is using the savings to boost teacher pay by up to $15,000, improving both teacher retention and student learning outcomes.
Case Study on the Batesville solar system
Webinar featuring Michael Hester
Dr. Gabriel Trujillo
Tucson, AZRead MoreLess
As Superintendent of Tucson Unified School District, Arizona’s 2nd largest public-school system, Dr. Trujillo serves 45,000 students and oversees 89 schools and programs. The 23.8 MW solar project, the largest among K-12 school districts in Arizona, accounts for 47% of TUSD’s annual electricity use and saves the district 1.1 million annually while providing shade to playgrounds and parking areas.
Case Study on the solar project
Webinar featuring Dr. Trujillo
Mashable video featuring Dr. Trujillo
Santa Barbara, CARead MoreLess
Since joining the School Board of Santa Barbara Unified School District in 2016, Laura Capps made solar a priority. She led the effort for the district to adopt school microgrids with 4.5 MW of solar capacity and 3 MW/6 MWh of battery energy storage, financinced through a power purchase agreement (PPA). This improves the district’s ability to provide backup energy to the community in times of crisis, while also leveraging its ability to earn revenue in energy markets.
Webinar featuring Laura Capps
Case study on the solar project
Mason County, MIRead MoreLess
Jeff Mount, Superintendent at Mason County Central School District, helped bring the first ground-mount solar school array to the state. Two arrays (121.6 kilowatts at the Upper Elementary and 164.6 kilowatts at the high school) generate electricity for the district, saving both taxpayers and the district money. The schools are integrating live data from the arrays into classroom learning, and sees additional solar in the school district’s future.
News story featuring solar project
Richmond, VARead MoreLess
Liz Doerr is a School Board member of Richmond Public Schools. The city of Richmond currently has the most schools with solar in Virginia, and the school district is expected to save $100,000 every year over the 20 years of its power purchase agreement (PPA) with Secure Futures Solar. The district also integrates the solar panels into classroom work through teacher training and curricula from the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project.
News story featuring Richmond Public Schools
Palmyra, VARead MoreLess
Peter leads Fluvanna County Schools as Superintendent and is working on bringing solar to the district. As former Middlesex County Superintendent, he powered the district by 100% clean energy energy while saving $4.74 million for taxpayers over the course of their 20-year solar power purchase agreement.
Case study featuring the solar project
Webinar featuring Peter
Hardinsburg, KYRead MoreLess
Nick serves 6 schools and over 2,700 students as the Superintendent of Breckinridge County School District. He helped bring solar to the district, powering both Irvington and Hardinsburg Elementary Schools with solar through state funding, delivering long-term cost savings to district, in addition to creating a better learning environment for his students.
Letter on solar facility upgrades
Dr. John-Mark Cain
Meridian, MSRead MoreLess
Dr. Cain serves as the Superintendent for Lauderdale County School District. By working with Entegrity Energy, he’s bringing a 200kW solar array to his first school, NE Middle, as well as renovating HVACs, switching to LEDs, and improving energy efficiency throughout the district. The middle school expects to offset 60-80% of their energy needs through solar and see significant cost savings.
News Story on LCSD’s solar array
Facilities and Sustainability Leaders
Osceola County, FLRead MoreLess
Marc Clinch is the Chief Facilities Officer for the School District of Osceola County. He advanced an energy savings plan which reduced electricity costs by 9%. Neocity Academy, the first net-zero school in the state, hosts a 228 kW solar array and saves the district $115,000 per year in energy costs. He’s an advocate for PPA legalization which would allow additional schools in his district and the state to affordably access solar.
Webinar featuring Marc Clinch
New York, NYRead MoreLess
Christine Johnson is the Solar Program Manager for the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Sustainability. Her work is focused on introducing the largest school system in the nation’s 1.1 million students to clean energy. With more than 250 solar installations either completed or underway at public schools, NYC DOE leverages these projects to provide climate education, STEM learning, and career development training opportunities to students across the city.
Case study featuring the NYC Solar Schools Program
Orange, VARead MoreLess
Doug is the Facilities & Maintenance Supervisor for Orange County Public Schools. He played a pivotal role in getting the school board to approve the solar project, and worked hard to ensure roof restoration rolled into their solar agreement with Secure Futures Solar. Over the next 25 years, Orange County Schools expect to generate half of their electricity needs through rooftop solar and save about $11 million in energy costs.
News story featuring solar project
Webinar featuring Doug Arnold
Albemarle County, VARead MoreLess
As Deputy Director of Building Services for Albemarle County School District, Lindsay has helped bring solar to 13,000 students. In 2017, Secure Futures installed 1 megawatt of solar energy across 6 schools. ACPS was the first public school district in VA to use a power purchase agreement (PPA) to finance the solar arrays and expects to save $80,000 over the 20-year term.
Video on Albemarle solar schools
Fishers, INRead MoreLess
Bob is the Energy Manager at Hamilton Southeastern Schools. He convinced the school board to acquire and flip the switch on three ground-mount solar arrays. They will save the district $7,000,000 in utility costs over the life of the investment. Bob leads STEM education lessons with students through two mobile learning labs, and has mentored other districts in the state seeking to go solar who sought out his expertise.
Podcast featuring Bob and the HSE solar project
Miami, FLRead MoreLess
As the Administrative Director of the Office Of Design & Sustainability at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Erick spearheads efforts to bring green infrastructure to the 4th largest school district in the nation. The district supports PPA legalization efforts to make solar more accessible for schools, is pursuing solar through lease financing, and recently commit to 100% clean energy by 2030.
Article on 100% clean energy commitment
Knoxville, TNRead MoreLess
As Knox County Schools’ Energy Manager, Zane has helped equip eleven Knox County Schools with solar. All together, they’re saving at more than $500,000 annually. Over time they’ll be saving the district money once the recuperate the upfront costs, powering the schools with clean energy and helping clean the Tennessee Valley.
Article on solar at Knox County Schools
Newport News, VARead MoreLess
Greg, Newport News Public School’s plant services supervisor, helped oversee Middlesex County schools’ shift to solar power before coming to the district. Now, 3.8-acre solar array will soon be constructed by SunTribe Solar on empty land between Todd Stadium and Gildersleeve Middle School, bring cost-savings benefits to the district.
Article on the solar array.
Santa Fe, NMRead MoreLess
As the Sustainability Program Coordinator for Santa Fe Public Schools, Lisa is responsible for building SFPS’s renewable energy portfolio. This includes 13 solar PV arrays, all on school sites, which supply 25% of the SFPS’s electrical demand. Lisa also manages energy and water conservation projects, recycling, food waste composting, utility data use/cost monitoring, and on integrating sustainability into the curriculum.
Website on Sustainability at SFPS
Virginia Beach, VARead MoreLess
Under Tim’s leadership as the Sustainability Officer for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, the district boasts over 1.6 million sq. feet of LEED building space, including the 1st LEED certified Elementary School in VA, Hermitage ES, and the 1st K-12 LEED Platinum Transportation and Maintenance Facility in the country. The U.S Department of Education awarded VBCPS Green Ribbon District status by the DOE in 2016 and was the 2012 “Best Green School District” by USGBC.
Virginia Beach, VARead MoreLess
Trevor Vuono is the Energy Manager for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. VBCPS procured its first solar power purchase agreement and net zero school.
Trevor works with a team of HVAC specialists which allows for exceptional control over the district’s energy use and allows VBCPS to be the largest state participant in the PJM Demand Response Program which earns the district $250,000 annually.
Albuquerque, NMRead MoreLess
Tony Sparks works for the Facilities Design + Construction Department of Albuquerque Public Schools, where he is Project Manager for HVAC Systems, Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, and Coordinator of the Water and Energy Conservation Committee. All new and renovated facilities have solar arrays installed, and all new construction is designed to meet LEED energy-efficient standards. Most recently, APS added a 850kW solar + battery storage project to improve school resiliency, saving APS $3.5 million over 25 years on electricity bills.
News story featuring the APS solar project.
Principals and Teachers
Maize, KSRead MoreLess
Stanley, a physics teacher at Maize High School outside of Wichita, Kansas, worked tirelessly to bring the largest solar array in the state to his school. Using Generation180’s map of solar schools for inspiration, Stanley brought a 240kW system to his students, along with the cost-savings benefits and learning opportunities.
Blog and interview with Stan
Video featuring the solar project
West Bloomfield, MIRead MoreLess
Josh, a former science teacher at West Bloomfield High School and now Sustainable Energy Educator, led the EARTH club in both funding and acquiring a solar array. Thanks to his leadership, the solar energy system has been a fantastic tool to teach real-world science, and the process taught the importance of collaboration and problem-solving to his students.
Case study featuring solar project
Vancouver, WARead MoreLess
Jason Lee Middle School science teacher Kathy Hall kickstarted the “Watts Up!” solar project pioneered by 3 students. They spoke at the Governor’s STEM meeting in 2019 at and shared their idea with Gov. Jay Inslee. Thanks to their advocacy and Kathy’s mentorship, plus her fundraising an additional 4k by dying her hair purple, a 100kW solar array is planned for their school and the school board is looking into installing solar districtwide.
Case study featuring the solar project
Webinar featuring Kathy’s students
Florence, CORead MoreLess
Dan Melendrez, Principal of Florence Jr/Sr High School of Fremont RE-2 School District, worked with McKinstry on an energy performance contract project that includes a 500kW solar ground-mount array. He brings all students an interactive learning experience by connecting teachers district-wide to integrate solar into the curriculum through AP classes and field trips, and through the powerEd program to maximize building efficiency through behavior change.
Article on the solar array and powerED program
Ann Arbor, MIRead MoreLess
Since 2014, Jeanie has been teaching 6th and 8th grade science at the Ann Arbor STEAM School. In 2019, Wilson’s students studying environmental science and PV technology fundraised to install solar panels on the school’s roof, successfully interconnecting panels in 2020. She wrote a K-8 NGSS aligned Project Based curriculum for students to learn about solar. Thanks to her leadership, the district expanded their solar array and started putting solar on other buildings.
Video outlining their solar project
Jeanie’s solar curriculum
Stockton, CARead MoreLess
Thanks to Gilbert’s leadership as Transportation Manager, Stockton Unified School District is no stranger to sustainability. 33/54 schools generate over 6.8 MW of solar, two high schools have battery storage, and the district is expanding their electric school bus fleet from 11 buses to 100% (to #FillTheYard). Students play a key role in educating their peers through the Energy Patrol program, teaching the importance of clean energy and efficiency efforts.
Webinar featuring Gilbert Rosas
Video featuring Stockton’s Energy Patrol students
Williamsfield, ILRead MoreLess
As Superintendent/Curriculum Director of Williamsfield Schools, Tim brought a 250kW solar array bringing $100,000+ in savings over 10 years to the district. He leads the Bus-2-Grid Initiative with 22 IL school districts aiming to use electric school bus batteries to provide 20MW+ of renewable energy storage by 2022. The district is applying for funding to acquire their first electric buses.
Website for the Bus-2-Grid Initiative
Podcast featuring Tim speaking on V2G bus technology
Article featuring Tim’s work
Sacramento, CARead MoreLess
Raymond is the Vehicle Maintenance Manager of Twin Rivers Unified School District. Twin Rivers currently operates the largest electric school bus fleet in the country, with over 40 electric school buses, and counting. This was the first school district in the nation to deploy zero-emission electric school buses and is now actively working on growing their fleet from 50% electric to 100%.
Website on their electric school bus fleet.
El Cajon, CARead MoreLess
Tysen is the Transportation Director at Cajon Valley Union School District. In addition to hosting solar systems at all 26 schools, the district has five electric school buses and plans to expand to 15, has a V2G bus pilot underway, and is transitioning their fleet of warehouse vehicles to fully-electric buses. At first an electric bus skeptic, Tysen is now a lover of electric buses the benefits they bring to her schools and students.
Article on Tysen’s leadership at CVSD
Fort Lauderdale, FLRead MoreLess
As the Vehicle Maintenance Manager of Broward County Public Schools, Thomas manages a fleet of 1,000+ buses, with 60 electric school buses on the way. The county will pay the diesel bus price and VW grant funds will match the remaining cost. He is committed to fleet electrification and also advises multiple Florida Association of Pupil Transportation committees.
News story featuring their electric school bus investment
Bloomington, INRead MoreLess
As the Director of Transportation for Monroe County Community School Corporation, Nathan is electrifying their school bus fleet. The district currently has three electric buses and is applying for five more, which will allow them to serve all students from two elementary schools with 100% electric buses. So far, they are seeing an average savings of $15.53 a day in electricity vs. diesel fuel.
Interview Q&A with Nathan
Pittsburg, CARead MoreLess
Matthew serves 14 schools and 11,000 students as the Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation for Pittsburg Unified School District. All school sites have solar, saving the district money, and the newly acquired beta solar panels over one-acre bioswale and 4 (10kW) wind generation units provide hands-on learning. The district has 4 electric buses, 3 on the way, and EV charging stations are being installed at all school campuses to help drive EV adoption in their community.
Live dashboards for all school solar sites.
Join the Clean Energy School Leaders Network
Did you play a role in your school adopting solar? Are you interested in sharing your story and helping other schools working to adopt clean energy? Review the benefits and expectations of the network and click below to apply or to nominate a school leader.