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HES - NC Green School of Promise

Hurley Elementary 



Exciting news for Hurley Elementary School. Hurley administrators were recently notified that their school is now a North Carolina Green School of Promise


“This is a huge recognition for our school and community as we are the only public school in Rowan County and surrounding counties to achieve this recognition,” says Principal Ryan Disseler. “We will continue our work and utilize our momentum to improve upon our current practices.”


Hurley Elementary School’s motto and mindset shifted this year to allow for the greatest possible positive impact on our environment and community. Staff and student ‘Green Teams’ were created to lead the charge! Through conversations about sustainability practices, planning meetings, and go-and-see visits, the Green Team expanded and continues to include anyone with the desire to assist in carrying out the vision of conservation.


Community is Key to Success

“The Hurley community has been a key part of our success in the changes to our school’s environment and have been attentive to projects happening on campus,” says Disseler.  There have been clean up events, garden planning days, Science/STEM nights, Field Day with a focus on community resources for students and parents, as well as Reading Night projects, which focused on our green initiatives.  Parents attend these events with students and are always happy to receive resources that enable them to support their child at home. 


Grants & Partnership with Catawba

Hurley proudly received grants and partnerships from businesses to fund projects and research within the new focus! Some of these include:

  • Materials for building
  • Healthy snacks for students who arrive late to school 
  • Student clubs centered around fitness
  • Partnerships for mentoring with The Center for Environment at Catawba College 


Student Empowerment

Supervision and care of campus has been managed, mostly, by students.  Disseler adds, “They have led the charge in organizing Elmer’s Glue, marker, and crayon recycling collection as well as many other recycling and cleanup efforts.”  The formation of the student Green Team, leadership clubs, and STEM clubs, have been integral part of beginning our work towards conservation. The Student Green Team collaborates once each week to collect recycling and remind staff of our continued improvements.  The ‘Student Green Team” also gives feedback on changes they would like to see on campus. Students were in charge of air quality examination and analysis.

Efforts for renewable energy and resources, in addition to recycling bins, include Student Green Team collection of:

  • Classroom recycling
  • Water bottle refilling station 
  • Lights and blinds tag reminders
  • Grade level gardens
  • Support for Hurricanes Florence and Michael 
  • Air quality work


Renewal – Teacher-Led Design Team

In March, Hurley’s Teacher Led Design Team took a trip to Asheville, NC to become even more knowledgeable with how to create the support system for our green initiative. These teachers were able to see a Green School of Excellence and reflect upon how best to move forward wat Hurley. This June, Teacher Led Design Team members will be visiting NC State University to meet with members of their sustainability office, and to develop an understanding of how teaching students in this mindset can lead to a lifelong passion for environmental awareness and sustainable living. 


Solar Grant

Quite possibly the biggest notoriety to date is Hurley being awarded a solar grant from NC GreenPower. This grant allows the school to have solar panels installed. “Students will learn how solar energy is used and how it can provide the Earth with a cleaner environment for all to live,” says Disseler


Click her to learn more about the NC Green Schools Center For the Environment



Rowan-Salisbury Schools Pilots State Renewal Program

The State of North Carolina passed HB 986 enabling qualifying school districts to become a renewal district. Currently only Rowan-Salisbury Schools district qualifies. On June 28th the RSS Board of Education elected to participate in this program. Click for details.