May 17, 2021 — Midland ISD's General Tommy Franks Elementary School has earned multiple awards for its energy education project "Saving the Earth, One Cadet at a Time."
The National Energy Education Development, or NEED Project, named Franks as the Texas Elementary School of the Year, the National Elementary School of the Year, and Exemplary Community Education Project.
Fifth-graders in Cadi Gillette's science class were recognized for the project, and have been invited to the 41st Annual Youth Energy Conference and Awards, which will be held in Washington, D.C. next month.
The project involved a group of students, known on campus as the Green Team, who not only practiced recycling themselves, but also gave presentations to other classes to emphasize the importance of recycling.
"This was completely student driven and student led," said Gillette. "The Green Team would hold monthly recycling contests where they would count the contributions from each class, then award a prize."
Gillette's class qualified the same award two years ago. That group of five students had the opportunity to attend the conference in Washington, D.C. This year's winners will have to enjoy their award via Zoom call, but are still proud of their accomplishment.
"What is amazing about this group of students is that they created and led an entire project that impacted our entire campus," said Franks Principal Andra Lancaster-Jones. "Their hard work week in and week out is being recognized on a national stage.
The Green Team also regularly volunteers with Keep Midland Beautiful, as a part of their commitment to recycling and environment.
"These students have shown a desire to do the right thing and lead others to do the same," said Gillette.
Principal Lancaster-Jones said she's proud of not only the students, but their teacher as well.
"Mrs. Gillette has a way of bringing the students face-to-face with opportunities for growth," said Lancaster-Jones. "That's exactly what you want out of a teacher."
ATTACHED PHOTO: Top (L-R):Aubrey Ramos, Baylee Payne, Stormy Guzman, Andrea Molinar; bottom (L-R): Eseosa Eriamiantoe , Trinity Cartwright, Lauren Ikporo and Teacher Cadi Gillette.