The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

The Student Newspaper of The Loomis Chaffee School

The Loomis Chaffee Log

Loomis Chaffee Hosts Sustainability Summit

Last month in April, Loomis Chaffee’s Alvord Center for Global and Environmental Studies and the E-Proctors hosted an interscholastic sustainability summit on campus, inviting over fifty students from more than ten schools in New England to exchange ideas related to campus sustainability efforts. The event lasted the entire day, providing students the opportunity to connect with diverse and like-minded peers and offering dynamic educational activities.

The event was originally inspired by a similar local sustainability summit that occurred last year at Northwest Park. Since last year’s Loomis attendees had a great experience, the Alvord Center decided to host its own summit on the LC campus, involving more New England independent schools.

“Loomis has been a leader in environmental sustainability programming and is lucky to have the resources to host and share the work that we do,” Jeff Dyreson, Associate Director of the Alvord Center, said.

Student leaders hoped the summit would facilitate comparative assessments of high school sustainability initiatives and spark new ideas.

“We can compare the problems we’re having on campus and find ways to combat [them] together,” Head E-Proctor Delaney Denno ’23 said.

The summit started off with an all-school convocation featuring speakers Dan Kinzer and Dr. John Francis. Dan Kinzer is an environmental educator who has traveled the world researching and teaching in the fields of ecology, climate science, indigenous wisdom, and more. John Francis is a climate activist known as the “Planetwalker” for his 22-year refusal to use motorized transportation and 17-year vow of silence in the name of environmentalism.

After the visitors’ compelling convocation, students were introduced to one another at lunch and began discussing their experiences with sustainability at their respective institutions. Next, the two visitors hosted breakout conversations focused on their careers in activism, research, and more.

“I really appreciated how the speakers were speaking to us at the same level of respect instead of downgrading us, which aligns with the theme of the summit: valuing student voices,” Denno said.

The summit concluded with a walk to Windsor Green, where the group participated in a sustainability rally and watched performances from students, of which included Jaleen Kairys ’24, who sang “A Change is Gonna Come,” and students from other schools who recited works of spoken word.

“For me, one of the key takeaways from the summit was that there are various ways schools can approach sustainability,” Head E-Proctor Sandro Mocciolo ’23 said. “For example, I particularly found a school that incorporated the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be really intriguing.”

The event was held for “half inspiration and half affirmation,” as Mr. Dyreson says, because it was a time for students to be proud but also learn and become inspired to take more action.

Since the summit this year created such a buzz around campus, there are high hopes of similar events being held at Loomis in the future. The sustainability summit was an impactful opportunity to leverage and value the work that the two visiting activists and many school communities have been doing, as well as build an interscholastic network between students and faculty alike.

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