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April 30, 2010

DHEC names year-end ‘Champions of the Environment’

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Four schools and six student winners have been awarded prizes at the Champions of the Environment year-end celebration, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

“Trident Academy in Charleston was named the 2010 overall winner from the Champions of the Environment and received $2,000,” said Amy Bennett, coordinator of Champions of the Environment. “The first runner-up and winner of $1,000 was Barnwell County Career Center in Blackville. The two $500 Honorable Mention winners were Bluffton High School and H.E. McCracken Middle School, both located in Bluffton.”

Bennett said Trident Academy’s project, Sustainability from Sea to Shining Sea, focused on environmental sustainability as students studied the U.S. from coast to coast. Students worked on stewardship projects that fell under four main themes: preventing and reducing pollution in the air, land and water; reducing waste; enhancing natural areas; and energy efficiency.

“Projects included improving the schools recycling efforts, an anti-idling campaign, cafeteria composting, a vegetable garden, butterfly garden, promotion of turning off the lights, and education awareness campaigns,” Bennett said. “While working on these projects every student found their own niche where they could contribute and be successful.”

Other groups honored as grant winners for the 2009-2010 school year were Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology, Myrtle Beach; Lowcountry Institute with Whale Branch Middle School, Seabrook; McKissick Elementary, Easley; Pine Ridge Middle School, Lexington; West Ashley High School, Charleston; and Wren High School, Piedmont.

In addition to honoring the 10 Champions grant winners and awarding overall Champions, six students were awarded prizes in the Environmental Awareness Essay and Poster Competition as follows:

  • Essay:
    • First place - Madison Stewart of Gettys Middle School, Easley
    • Second place - Sam Lipman of Mason Preparatory School, Charleston
    • Third place - Aidan Hekker of Porter-Gaud School, Charleston
  • Poster:
    • First place - Jessica Martin of Porter-Gaud School, Charleston
    • Second place - Maggie Robertson of Orangeburg Preparatory Schools, Orangeburg
    • Third place - Victoria Smith of Bates Middle School, Sumter

Champions of the Environment is made possible through the support of International Paper, Eastman Chemical Company, WCSC-TV, WIS-TV and DHEC with additional support provided by the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina. The program is in its 17th year of promoting environmental education by rewarding students and teachers for their efforts to improve and protect South Carolina’s environment.

For more information, visit the Champions Web site at:, or call Bennett at (803) 898-4249.


For more information:
Amy Bennett - (803) 898-4249
E-mail -