The U.S. Department of Education is recognizing Wisconsin education systems for minimizing environmental impact, teaching sustainability, and prioritizing health and wellness.

Green Ribbon Schools from the state include Houlton Elementary School, Middleton’s Kromrey Middle School, Washburn School District and UW-Stevens Point — one of only nine post-secondary institutions in the country being recognized for sticking to the tenets.

Nationwide, nine school districts, 45 schools, and one state education official were also recognized by the federal agency.

“I commend each school, district, and institution of higher education for their efforts to create a healthy learning environment for students, faculty and staff,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “These schools have done exemplary work to help prepare the rising generation for the careers and challenges of the 21st Century.”

Candidates for the awards were nominated by 28 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. Fourteen percent of 2017 awardees are located in rural areas, and 44 percent serve a “disadvantaged student body.”

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