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Day 3 – Exemplars Sharing Sustainable Practices

Day 3 – Exemplars Sharing Sustainable Practices

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 7-8:30 p.m.

Once you register for the conference, you will receive an e-mail with the information to join through Zoom. You need to register for the day(s) you want to attend to get the specific Zoom link.

Consider attending this workshop to find new ideas, strategies, and tools you can immediately implement in your classroom to promote environmental sustainability.

Itinerary for Wednesday

7 – 7:05 p.m. Welcome
7:05 – 7:25 p.m. Elms Elementary School: Sheryl Konopack will explore sustainability projects such as meaningful recycling, the Power Save program, aquaponics and gardening techniques as well as ways to employ these ideas with students across grades levels.
7:25 – 7:55 p.m. Cape May City Elementary: Green Team members Nicole Cooper, Misty Hardy, and Sandy Sandmeyer-Bryan will focus on the waste reduction efforts that have created significant connections for students. Not limited to everyday recycling, the discussion will include unique programs for reducing single-use plastics, materials reuse, energy reduction, and composting successes.
7:55 – 8:15 p.m. Monmouth University: Patti Swannack will share the ways in which Monmouth University has striven to employ sustainable practices and the benefits of using such practices at a school level.
8:15 – 8:25 p.m. Question and answer period with our speakers
8:25 – 8:30 p.m. Closing Remarks


Sheryl Konopack

Sheryl Konopack

Sheryl Konopack graduated from TCNJ in 2001 and received her M.S. Ed., Reading Specialist certificate through Monmouth University in 2011. She has classroom teaching experience in second through fifth grades and currently teaches K-5 as the media teacher and aquaponics coordinator at Elms Elementary School in Jackson. Konopack is passionate about engaging her students through literacy, building background knowledge, and sustainable practices that allow for active student participation. She can be emailed at

Nicole Cooper

Nicole Cooper is a special education teacher at Cape May City Elementary School. Having earned her master’s degree in Special Education, Nicole helps provide insight for environmental education without barriers. She is the communications specialist for the school’s Green Team.

Misty Hardy

Misty Hardy is a paraprofessional at Cape May City Elementary School with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is one of the founding members of the school Green Team and believes environmental experiences are best begun at an early age.

Sandy Sandmeyer-Bryan

Sandy Sandmeyer-Bryan is a retired teacher with years of experience in environmental projects and organizations. She is a member of ANJEE (Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education) and the former coordinator of Cape May City Elementary’s Sustainable Jersey for Schools Green Team. Sandy was recognized in 2017 as a Sustainability Hero. She has also earned the NJAS Patricia F. Kane Environmental Education Award and ANJEE’s Outstanding Environmental Educator award.

Patricia Swannack

Patricia Swannack

As vice president for administrative services, Patricia Swannack oversees the departments of facilities management, campus planning and construction, human resources, student employment and the University police department. Under her leadership Monmouth University has performed over $325 million in construction and renovation projects including the installation of the largest solar energy system in higher education east of the Mississippi River. In 2012, Swannack negotiated the contract for, and oversaw the multi-year renovation of, the University’s first satellite campus at the Monmouth Park Corporate Center. She is currently working with Monmouth Medical Center and RWJ Barnabas Health to further expand the University’s Graduate Center to create multiple simulation laboratories, as well as fit-out for two new graduate programs. Under Swannack’s guidance, the University has won numerous awards for its leadership in sustainability. These include the Governor’s Excellence Award, the Largest Green Power User in the MAAC, a Hess C-Neutral Certificate for supporting Carbon Reduction projects a NJDEP Certificate of Environmental Stewardship; the U.S. EPA’s Recognition of Environmental Stewardship, New Jersey’s Clean Energy School of the Year by the U.S. Green Building Committee, and two placements in Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges,” among others. Monmouth University was also the first independent university to sign a comprehensive green operation agreement with the U.S. EPA.

Watch the Day 3 Presentations

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