Photo by Lauren Brois
Greenlight Award Finalists with faculty advisors, judges, Bedford 2020 organizers, and BCSD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Drew Patrick
Greenlight Award Finalists Show Ingenuity, Determination and Bold Ideas
Friday night, thirteen student finalists, making up four teams from Fox Lane High School and four teams from Fox Lane Middle School, presented their completed Greenlight Award projects to a panel of renowned judges and before an audience in the Fox Lane Auditorium. 

Whether they went home with a trophy or not, all eight finalist teams in the Bedford 2020 Greenlight Award competition took on a challenge to combat greenhouse gas emissions or preserve natural resources and worked diligently to implement their project and improve our community this year.

According to Olivia Farr, Co-founder of Bedford 2020, “Each project was entirely unique and every one made a difference, and for that all of the teams deserve recognition and thanks for their great work.”
And the Winner is....
When the score sheets were tallied, only one Middle School and one High School team were able to be declared the winners of a Greenlight Award trophy, a $500 cash prize, and a $500 grant for their faculty advisor.  And the winners are:

  • High School: Efficient Lighting by Jesse Hoagland, Maya Koneval and Sajay Srivastava with faculty advisor Fred Neumann.
  • Middle School: The Sun Stop by Asa Friedrich with faculty advisor Christopher Grove
By evaluating lighting inefficiencies around the school and performing a cost benefit analysis to estimate monetary waste, seniors Jesse Hoogland, Maya Koneval and Sajay Srivastava concluded that if the school purchases LED bulbs for the entire building for $38,700, "in one year the school could save $116,000 in energy costs.” They also evaluated places where censors and timers could cut down on light use and save both energy and money for the district. Bedford 2020 hopes to see students use this report to push for adoption of these cost-effective recommendations at FLHS and other BCSD schools.

Eighth grader Asa Friedrich designed, built and installed a shelter where students wait for the bus under cover from the elements and charge their electronic devices at its solar-powered charging station. This prototype serves as a demonstrative, educational tool for students to see and use solar power and read about how it works, and it also shows the district a smaller version of what Asa proposes be installed in multiple locations to provide solar energy to the school. 

Please continue reading below about all the impactful projects that the Greenlight Award finalists worked on this year. 
Photo by Karen Sabath
Greenlight Award Winners (from left to right) Sajay, Maya, Jesse, and Asa
Photo by Pete Friedrich
Asa under The Sun Stop at FLMS
High School Finalists
Photo provided by Jessica Smith.
Jessica with students at PRES around the composting bin. 
Full implementation of a composting program at Pound Ridge Elementary School is the successful impact of Jessica Smith’s Greenlight Award project. A senior at Fox Lane High school, Jessica worked with the PRES administration and teachers, visited classrooms and taught the students about the importance of composting, sent home information to encourage composting at home, and integrated the program into the classrooms, cafeteria, and with the school garden program. Where no program existed before, there is now a successful composting program and a model for other schools in the district. We look forward to hearing about the great compost PRES has made to put in their garden one day.
Making local, healthy, fresh food available to all in our community is what high school sophomores, Michelle Paolicelli and Kathryn Tortorella set out to do with their Greenlight Award Project.  In New York State paper “food stamps” have been replaced by an electronic system where the state deposits funds for low-income families to buy food on an Electric Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that works like a debit card. However bringing an EBT machine to a local farmers’ market is a process fraught with time-consuming meetings, paperwork and government hoops to jump through. Michelle and Kathryn have had those meetings, gathered the data, filled out the paperwork, and jumped through many of the hoops necessary to get approval by the state for an EBT machine (for free) at the Bedford Hills Farmers’ Market. Bedford Hills Live, will continue to monitor the process with the state until the machine is installed and will work to publicize its installation to the community who will use it. 
Photo by Lauren Brois 
Kathryn and Michelle will stay involved with Bedford Hills Live to see their vision become a reality.
Photo by Lauren Brois
George at the Finals
Long term conditioning to impact behavior change is the intent of ninth grader George Quinn’s waste disposal bin labeling project. By undertaking to label every recycling and waste bin in the Bedford Central School District with uniform labels provided (free) by Recycle Across America, George anticipates that students will begin a school-long journey that will positively impact participation in school recycling because of a recognizable, systematic waste disposal system.  While it is difficult to measure results of this project in the first couple of months, we are confident that this program will influence students, faculty and staff over time and increase recycling participation rates at all our schools.  George has recently joined the Garden Club in their waste reduction efforts and it will be exciting to watch them build off of the great work George started with this project.
Middle School Finalists
“Educating the community” is what Ian Delannes-Molka, Rahul Menon and Harrison Konopka, seventh graders set out to do and they learned even more in the process of designing and building an aquaponics growing system in their science classroom with the help of their teacher Carl Koehler. The closed-loop system is now set up as an example of sustainable growing and many students will see it and learn from it. The boys explained to the judges how the system works: the fish feces fertilizes the plants through the roots that hang down in the water and the roots filter the water to keep the tank clean for the fish. 
Photo provided by 
Harrison, Rahul and Ian.
The aquaponic system.
​Photo by Ellen Calves
Eugenia with volunteers removing invasive species at Ward Pound Ridge
“400 new trees” and “over 70 volunteers” are the numbers reported by Eugenia Kaltsas, another Fox Lane Middle School sixth grader, who worked with Jeff Main at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation to engage student and parent volunteers to remove invasive species, clear a path, and plant 400 baby trees in the area that was once known as the Cathedral of the Pines but was decimated in Superstorm Sandy.  All the volunteers learned a great deal about land conservation and will one day see a beautiful forest grow up and be restored where vine-choked stumps used to be. Eugenia wants to continue working in land conservation with volunteers at either at Ward Pound Ridge or in other parks in our area. 
“Approximately 500 hours” is how much time Jackson Lawrence, a sixth grader at Fox Lane Middle School, told the judges he estimates he spent on designing and working with programmers in India to launch a Fox Lane Ride Share website to encourage and coordinate carpools among Fox Lane Middle School families. The website has not yet been tested in the community, but there is no doubt that Jackson’s time will not be wasted as he has pledged to continue to roll out the idea and engage parents in participating next year. With all of the cars going to many of the same practices and school events, encouraging carpooling should save on car emissions as well as increase safety due to less cars on school property. 
Photo by Lauren Brois
Jackson at the finals.
This Greenlight Award journey has been an amazing experience in its first year. Farr recounts, “From the incredible support of the Fox Lane High School and Middle School faculty members, to the dedication and coordination of Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick, to the support of community experts called upon to give advice and partner with the students, to the accomplished environmental leaders who agreed to be our judges at Round 1 and the Finals, to the growth and development of these projects and these students since September, and to the courage of these students to tackle big, important problems, this contest has been inspirational, exciting, community-building, impactful and fun.”
Not only will these student projects live on well beyond the Greenlight Award contest of 2015-2016, Bedford 2020 looks forward to partnering with other area schools to bring this opportunity to more students and evolve the Greenlight Award into an inter-school competition in the coming year.  For more information about the Greenlight Award visit
Thank you to BCSD for hosting the Greenlight Award pilot this year, and thank you to our Greenlight Award Finals Judges for volunteering and providing your expertise and insight! 
Photo by Lauren Brois
Greenlight Award Judges:
David Fenton, Wendy Gordon, Jeff Tannenbaum, Derval Thomas and Jayni Chase