Solar For All Schools / Clean Energy School Leaders Network

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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

  • Michael Hester

    Michael Hester

    Batesville, AR

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    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

    CBS News story featuring the solar array

  • Dr. Gabriel Trujillo

    Dr. Gabriel Trujillo

    Tucson, AZ

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    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

  • Laura Capps

    Laura Capps

    Santa Barbara, CA

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    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

  • Jeff Mount

    Jeff Mount

    Mason County, MI

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    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

  • Liz Doerr

    Liz Doerr

    Richmond, VA

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    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

  • Peter Gretz

    Peter Gretz

    Palmyra, VA

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    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

  • Nick Carter

    Nick Carter

    Hardinsburg, KY

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    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

    Dr. John-Mark Cain

    Meridian, MS

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    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

  • Joe Stroup

    Joe Stroup

    Middleburg, PA

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    Midd-West School District completed a 2.56 MW solar array in 2020 that generates nearly 100% of the district’s electricity. Under Joe’s leadership, the district will complete an additional install which will earn the district money by selling the surplus energy generated. With 29 years experience in public education, Joe is passionate about not only saving the district money but using the money saved to enhance student learning.

  • Dr. Eric Bond

    Dr. Eric Bond

    Augusta County, VA

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    Under Superintendent Dr. Eric Bond, Augusta County, Virginia Schools installed 1.8 MW of solar power, which will cover about 31% of the demand on seven campuses and save $495,000 over 20 years. In partnership with the Science Museum of Virginia, students participated in the “Throwing Solar Shade” citizen science curriculum, presenting their findings through the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon program.

    Augusta County Schools Solar Profile
    News Story featuring Augusta County Students

  • Mick Iskric

    Mick Iskric

    Steelton, PA

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    As the Superintendent of Steelton-Highspire School District, Mick leads the district in energy independence– powering their schools with 100% clean energy with 1.6MW solar system housed on a former landfill. Additionally, the solar system provides a learning opportunity for the district’s students. As a native to Steelton, Mick is passionate about students reaching their fullest potential and saving the taxpayers money.

    News story featuring the solar project

Facilities and Sustainability Leaders

  • Marc Clinch

    Marc Clinch

    Osceola County, FL

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    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

  • Doug Arnold

    Doug Arnold

    Orange, VA

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    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

  • Lindsay Snoddy

    Lindsay Snoddy

    Albemarle County, VA

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    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

  • Bob Rice

    Bob Rice

    Fishers, IN

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    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

  • Erick Laventure

    Erick Laventure

    Miami, FL

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    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

  • Zane Foraker

    Zane Foraker

    Knoxville, TN

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    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

  • Greg Harrow

    Greg Harrow

    Newport News, VA

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    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.

  • Lisa Randall

    Lisa Randall

    Santa Fe, NM

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    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.

  • Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Virginia Beach, VA

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    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.

  • Trevor Vuono

    Trevor Vuono

    Virginia Beach, VA

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    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.

  • Tony Sparks

    Tony Sparks

    Albuquerque, NM

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    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.

  • David Childress

    David Childress

    Louisa County, VA

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    Under David’s leadership, Louisa County innovated solar-powered wireless internet mobile stations built by students to provide free Wi-Fi to the community. Additionally, he pursued solar projects that will save the district $6 million over the next thirty years. He has a vision to continue to integrate clean energy technology into the school district, such as educating students on solar panel installation and providing free electric vehicle charging.

    Read more about the wireless internet stations

  • Kyley Delphia

    Kyley Delphia

    Spring Hill, Kansas

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    Kyley Delphia, Director of Facilities at Spring Hill School District, helped bring the first ground-mounted solar array to the school district and more than tripling the size of the second largest district array in Kansas. The solar array will generate ~1.3 million kWh annually and estimated to save the district over $4 million over the next 30 years. The live data from the array provides students a unique learning experience.

    News story featuring Spring Hill’s Solar Project
    District Announcement of Solar Project

  • Gilbert Rosas

    Gilbert Rosas

    Stockton, CA

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    Gilbert helped procure over $10M in grants and managed the construction of charging infrastructure for Stockton Unified School District’s 24 electric school buses. SUSD installed 6.8 MW of solar and battery storage units for two high schools. He is now at Modesto City Schools as their Director of Sustainability and Adaptation to replace their diesel bus fleet with 30 electric school buses!

    Modesto City Schools Sustainability and Environmental Education

    Video featuring Stockton’s Energy Patrol students

Principals and Teachers

  • Stanley Bergkamp

    Stanley Bergkamp

    Maize, KS

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    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

  • Kathleen Hall

    Kathleen Hall

    Vancouver, WA

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    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

  • Dan Melendrez

    Dan Melendrez

    Florence, CO

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    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

  • Jeanie Wilson

    Jeanie Wilson

    Ann Arbor, MI

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    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

  • Karely Carlos

    Karely Carlos

    Stockton, CA

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    Most of Karely’s hobbies revolve around the outdoors and she learned from a young age that if you didn’t do your part in preserving the environment that surrounds you, no one else would. As the Environmental Resources teacher at Merlo Institute, Karely teaches students the importance of a sustainable future and prepare them with the necessary skills to join the workforce in the renewable sector.

    Journey of a Sunbeam

  • Jordan Crolly

    Jordan Crolly

    Philadelphia, PA

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    Having become interested in sustainability in high school, Jordan has come full circle as the Solar Energy Technology Instructor for the School District of Philadelphia. Previously, he worked as an energy engineer developing solar projects in California. Since moving back to Pennsylvania, Jordan is amplifying his impact by teaching tomorrow’s leaders to design and install solar systems through the first Bright Solar Futures Career and Technical Education program in PA.

    Case study featuring solar CTE program

Transportation Leaders

  • Tim Farquer

    Tim Farquer

    Williamsfield, IL

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    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

  • Raymond Manalo

    Raymond Manalo

    Sacramento, CA

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    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.

  • Tysen Brodwolf

    Tysen Brodwolf

    El Cajon, CA

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    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

  • Thomas Fitzpatrick

    Thomas Fitzpatrick

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

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    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

  • Nathan Oliver

    Nathan Oliver

    Bloomington, IN

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    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

  • Matthew Belasco

    Matthew Belasco

    Pittsburg, CA

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    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.