(Secaucus, NJ--June 3, 2019) High Tech sophomore Kate Neal, a resident of Bayonne, created a pilot program in the hopes of enacting a permanent schoolwide policy to replace plastic forks, knives, and spoons with metal silverware throughout the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.
Neal, a student in the Academy of Environmental Science and Sustainability, has dedicated herself to lowering the carbon footprint throughout High Tech’s state-of-the-art, LEED-certified building, and has become involved throughout the school community. She holds the titles of Secretary of the High Tech Environmental Club and Administrative Liaison for the sophomore class. Also, Neal has actively participated in the French Club, JSA, Science League, and this summer, she will intern at the High Tech Aquaponics Lab.
The pilot, mere weeks old, took months to arrange. In April, Neal teamed up with Gerald Lyons, the retiring Director of Food Services, and Catherine Yuhas, veteran Environmental Science and Sustainability instructor, to implement the change. Modeled on Explore Middle School’s preexisting metal silverware program, the pilot program utilized hundreds of reusable forks, knives, and spoons that now offer an environmentally sustainable choice for staff and students on the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus. However, Neal and others hope that reusable silverware will be the only option going forward.
“It was time to make a change,” says Neal. “We throw away, on average, 8,000 forks, knives, and spoons a week [on the the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus] alone, and making every change we can to promote and practice environmental awareness and sustainability is essential for our continuous growth throughout the building, as well as setting a good example for students and teachers alike.”