Washburn School District sets stage for sustainable student success

Ashland Daily Press: Washburn School District’s Green and Healthy School Program has gained national attention for providing students with the tools necessary to live in harmony with the natural world and may even result in a visit from First Lady Michelle Obama.

This year, the Washburn School District has gained national attention as a district that fosters academic excellence and environmentally focused programming at all levels for students.

In September, Washburn High School was awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence. Then this spring, five Washburn Elementary students visited the White House — twice — to plant and harvest with First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her “Let’s Move!” initiative supporting school gardens and healthy lifestyle choices as a way to combat child obesity.

So what exactly does this recognition mean for the district, and what makes it such a unique place to learn?

According to District Administrator Dr. Thomas Wiatr, national recognition reaffirms that the district is moving in the right direction with the strategic goals of student achievement in math and reading, as well as embracing the Wisconsin Green and Healthy School model, which is a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Instruction, and Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education.

“The recognition is unsolicited… All of our efforts resonate all the way to Washington and it just reinforces all of the great things we have going on at our school,” Wiatr said.

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