Gann Switching to 100% Renewable Electricity
Gann Academy's electricity will soon be exclusively powered by renewable energy. Thanks to three recent Gann graduates and a school administrator who took their environmental concerns seriously, the school will soon be joining a very exclusive club: the 5% of U.S. schools powered by renewable energy.
Weather permitting, solar panels will be installed on the roof of the student activities center once the city issues Gann a permit. The panels will provide the school with 25% of its energy. The other 75% will be sourced from wind farms.
"We are really happy to leave our mark on our community in a way that has such a tangible impact," said Nate Orbach, who, along with classmates from Student Council and the Environment Club, drove the sustainable energy agenda last year. "What makes Gann unique is how it empowers students to follow their passions and enact real change," explained Nate.
Gann's Chief Operating Officer, Gail Schulman, said the students were "amazing leaders," combining vision with old fashioned hard work. "They started from a place of values and then immediately rolled up their sleeves and said, 'what can we do about this?' They approached this in a sophisticated way, doing extensive research, interacting with energy and solar panel companies and nudging me in a respectful way. It was a delight to work with them."
Several student leaders—including Environmental Club officer Shachar Berkowitz-Ragosin and activist Alya Simoun—with input from science teacher and Environment Club advisor Emily Hart, brought the idea of solar panels to the Student Council in 2016. Student Council officers Stav Bejerano and Orbach ran with it. Inspired by the students' initiative, Schulman identified wind and solar energy companies which will not only save the school energy costs, but also embody Gann’s values of building a better world.