By Bill Petzold
CARO — Highland Pines School’s colors are Green and White, but this week —the week of Earth Day — it’s the green that’s getting all the attention.
The Huskies hoisted a third flag Friday morning in front of the school next to the Michigan and United States flags. This is the fourth year Highland Pines have had the pleasure of flying an Official Michigan Green School flag — the only school in Tuscola County that can boast the honor.
Highland Pines students of all ages helped secure the award, from preschool to high school senior. Students recycle paper products, potato chip bags, bread bags, and took a field trip to the Tuscola County Recycling Center. One class helped recycle more than 2,000 items.
Parapro Jill Muska and teacher Mary Ann Edwards serve as co-chairs of the Highland Pines Earth Team, a program that helps students learn how to recycle and take care of their planet.
“We’ve done a whole bunch of recycling,” Muska said. “We collect used cell phones, batteries, crayons. We are with a company called Terracycle that we send chip bags and Capri Sun pouches. We get two cents for every pouch and two cents for every chip bag.
“We have cans and bottles and cardboard and paper … all of these containers have different items that we collect. In return we send it in and the school gets money. Aunt Millie’s bread bags: we get five cents each. The students come in here during the week and help; they sort and they count. We shred the papers and then the shredded paper gets sent out.”
Students and staff gathered for a special flag-raising ceremony Friday morning to celebrate. Muska, superintendent Gene Pierce, assistant superintendent Scott Richards and principal Tracey Henry addressed the crowd to congratulate them for their award-winning efforts.
Bill Petzold is the editor of the Tuscola County Advertiser. He can be reached at email@example.com.