CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Cara Tirado, a curriculum and assessment science coordinator for grades K-12 for the Carson City School District is being recognized nationally as one out of five individuals to receive a Leader in Sustainability Fellowship for the 2022-2023 school year.
Tirado has started and encouraged multiple sustainability curricula for all grade levels. She has a team of teachers at the K-5 level piloting curriculum from the Biomimicry Institute. Additionally, Project ReCharge is used in both science and STEM courses at the 6-8 grade levels, and she’s helped develop a new Environmental Science course at the high school level. Earth science is currently being integrated into each of the three core science classes: biology, chemistry and physics, so every student who graduates from Carson High School or Pioneer Academy will have a healthy dose of Earth Science and its systems in their background.
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“Ms. Tirado is an excellent example of sustainability to both her students and coworkers alike,” said Richard Stokes, superintendent for the Carson City School District. “We are pleased she is getting the recognition and accolades on a national level for all that she does in our school district.”
Tirado said in her position, she helps promote and integrate sustainability mindsets where possible, not only in the area of curriculum and instruction, but also in the areas of culture and climate. She also would like to develop outdoor learning spaces at all ten school sites in Carson City.
“Studies show students perform and feel better when given the opportunity to work outside and connect with nature,” Tirado said. “Nestled in this beautiful valley, it only makes sense to teach our students about our local ecosystems, using our local ecosystems.”
According to a press release, green schools can significantly lower district resource usage and operating costs so money is put back into classrooms where it is needed. The Leader in Sustainability Fellowship program equips sustainability staff across the country with skills and resources to accelerate the progress in their communities regarding green school design and operations. The 2021-2022 Fellows will specifically focus on establishing and implementing targeted goals to drive down their carbon footprint and bring opportunities for all students to explore sustainability by using their building and grounds as a teaching tool.
"Moving a school system's culture toward sustainability and environmental action takes strong and smart leadership. This year's Fellows are committing their time and effort to continuous learning to become the best leaders they can be for the green school movement," said Anisa Heming, director of the Center for Green Schools. "We are proud to support this cohort, and we are excited to celebrate the impact they will make in their schools."