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Eighth Grade Class Gift Brings the Latest Tech to 601

Friday, May 26, 2017

As many members of our community have already heard, our middle school campus at 601 Dolores Street is about to receive an exciting addition. During the first week of our summer break, the Albion Power Company is going to install a ten-panel Solar Array and Weather Station on the roof of the building, which will power the campus with green energy while also giving our students the opportunity to study the climate.

All of this was made possible by the generosity of the entire CDS community, who raised an amazing $21,000 to bring the project to life. The gift is in honor of our beloved Middle School Science teacher, Kirk Bell, who is retiring this month after working at CDS for twelve years and providing inspiration for countless students. Kirk is passionate about the importance of renewable energy and reducing the effect of climate change, and this was one of his dream projects. He describes his teaching style as having "a clear, strong focus on environmental integrity," and one of his main goals is for his students to be "overwhelmed by how amazing the Earth is."

The eighth grade students have their own commitment to responsible energy use. During their visit to Washington DC earlier this year, they presented a petition to Rep. Nancy Pelosi in favor of environmental justice, and they take a leading role in the Green Task Force presentations at our weekly assemblies. Therefore, when they discussed how they could commemorate their time at CDS by setting up a class gift, an environmentally-friendly project was one of the first ideas that came to mind.

The addition of these solar panels will allow us to build a commitment to renewable energy while also providing a great opportunity for future students to learn about Earth science. It's the perfect going-away gift for Kirk, and we'd like to thank the CDS community for making it happen.