Finalists Selected and Voting Is Open For America's Greenest School

America votes online for the nation's top singers and celebrity dancers, but now they can vote online to decide which school deserves the title of America's Greenest School.

Vote for America's Greenest School at AmericasGreenestSchool.com to determine the winner of an IC Bus hybrid school bus

Ten finalists, listed below, have been selected out of nearly 2,000 essay submissions as part of a search for the most environmentally-friendly school in the United States. America now has one week to read the essays and vote at www.AmericasGreenestSchool.com for its pick to win the title of America's Greenest School. The winning school will receive a plug-in hybrid school bus from IC Bus, which can increase the fuel efficiency of standard school buses by up to 65 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 percent. The hybrid bus has an estimated retail value of $200,000. The student who submitted the winning essay will win a $5,000 scholarship.

Those who cast a vote are eligible to receive a $200 gift card to www.greenandmore.com, a Web site for eco friendly products. Three gift cards will be given away each day of voting from May 11-17. Votes are limited to one per e-mail address per day. The Official Rules are available at www.AmericasGreenestSchool.com.

"The quality and volume of submissions was overwhelmingly positive. We were quite impressed," said David Hillman, a contest judge and IC Bus, global marketing director. "It is so encouraging to see what schools all over the country are doing to take care of this planet, starting with riding the school bus." The American School Bus Council estimates that every school bus full of kids takes 36 passenger cars off the road.

Nearly 2,000 essays were submitted on behalf of more than 760 different schools. Students in New York, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and California submitted the most essays (in that order). Environmental highlights of the essays included the development of bus-riding campaigns, use of solar or wind power, ecosystem preservation projects, student environmental clubs, efforts to reduce energy and water usage, and various recycling programs. Terra Wellington, author of Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home and representatives from IC Bus, the nation's largest school bus manufacturer, served as contest judges to narrow the field to 10 finalists.

Finalist student essays and schools to be voted on at www.AmericasGreenestSchool.com include:

  • Alexander C., Irvington High School, Fremont, Calif.
  • Dominik D., Riviera Beach Maritime Academy, West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Kara D., Asheboro High School Zoo School, Asheboro, N.C.
  • Brianna F., Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Amelie H., Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C.
  • Bria K., Walden III Middle and High School, Racine, Wisc.
  • Katherine K., Academy of the Holy Angels, Demarest, N.J.
  • Carolyn L., WACO Elementary School, Crawfordsville, Iowa
  • Hilary P., Redmond High School, Redmond, Wash.
  • John T., Morningside Elementary School, Salt Lake Valley, Utah

Those receiving honorable mention include:

  • Lane A., Highland Park Senior High School, Highland Park, Ill.
  • Steve C., Conway High School, Conway, Ark.
  • April D., Holy Name High School, Parma Heights, Ohio
  • Christian L., Half Hollow Hills High School East, Dix Hills, N.Y.
  • McKenna R., Oxford High School, Oxford, Ala.
  • Hannah S., Ann Arbor Skyline High School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The contest, announced in January, accepted essay submission until April 30, 2009. Online voting occurs May 11-17 and the winner will be announced in early June.

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