AASA Awards Scholarships To Encourage Healthy School Environments

Jan. 14, 2010

Amy Vogt, AASA

Arlington, Va. –The American Association of School Administrators provided $38,000 in scholarships to school system leaders to attend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 10th Annual Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium, held Jan. 14-16, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The symposium summons superintendents, school board officials, school nurses, teachers, facility managers and others to the nation’s capitol for problem solving to improve child health and safety through the lens of the indoor school environment.

Michele Curreri of the U.S. EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program, said, “Half of the nation’s schools are now implementing IAQ management plans, with 85 percent of those schools basing their efforts on the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program. We would not be achieving as much success without the leadership, support and assistance of school superintendents. They are integral to the success of a district’s indoor-air-quality management program.”

The symposium scholarships, a benefit of membership in AASA, were awarded to 35 school administrators from 19 public school districts. The following superintendents will represent their district and AASA at the symposium: Thomas Langdon of Big Rapids Public Schools, Gary Blair and James Dumminger of Buckingham County Public Schools, Carolyn Ross of Churchill County School District, Manney Moore and Paul Cogburn of Cocke County Schools, Denise Wellnitz of Darlington Community School District, Kenneth Tarrant of Dexter Unified District 471, Richard Middleton and Brian Gottardy of North East Independent School District, Elizabeth Reust of Plainville Public Schools USD 270, Lloyd Snow of Sand Springs Schools, Barton Goering of Spring Hill Unified School District 230, and Greggory Fuerstenau and David Hixenbaugh of Taylorville Community Unit Schools.

AASA-sponsored participants will develop a comprehensive action plan to implement the Tools for Schools Program or an equivalent indoor-air-quality management program when they return home to their districts. Before the symposium, AASA-sponsored attendants have the opportunity to attend a networking meeting to receive acknowledgement and appreciation for their fervor to establish indoor-air-quality programs that are based on the symposium’s principles, as well as to receive AASA indoor-air-quality resources that can be used to enhance existing initiatives.

The Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program is a nationwide initiative to help school officials assess, resolve and prevent indoor-air-quality problems and reduce exposure to asthma triggers in school facilities. At the symposium, innovative sessions are held on various topics associated with effectively implementing indoor-air-quality management programs as well as building and maintaining high-performance schools, asthma management in schools and communications strategies. In addition, EPA will present this year’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Excellence and Sustained Model of Excellence Awards to honor qualifying schools for exemplary indoor-air-quality programs.

By exposing members to the symposium experience, AASA has the opportunity to impact the health and learning environment of hundreds of thousands of students. "Providing a healthy school environment that encourages learning is a priority for school system leaders," said AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech. "AASA is pleased to support school leaders' attendance at the EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools National Symposium."

For more information, contact Yasmin Bowers, project manager, at 703-875-0759 or visit the AASA Healthy School Environments website at http://www.aasa.org/content.aspx?id=200.

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.