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October 25, 2005

North Carolina schools recognized for safer pest management

Godfrey Nalyanya, left, and Mike Linker of N.C. State's School IPM Program, discuss award winners at Monday's event. (Daniel Kim photo)

School systems that have implemented Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs were recognized for their efforts by North Carolina State University’s School IPM Program Oct. 24 at N.C. State’s McKimmon Center. The School IPM Program honored the leaders from 21 North Carolina school districts during the program’s first-ever awards ceremony.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a common-sense approach to pest control that dramatically reduces the risk of exposure to pesticides for students, teachers and staff in public schools. There is a growing national movement to safeguard children’s health using IPM.

“Every opportunity we get, we should reduce kids’ exposures to toxic chemicals,” stated James Reuter, an award winner from Nash-Rocky Mount Schools and past president of the N.C. Public Schools Maintenance Association.

Children spend six to eight hours a day in school for 185-200 days each year. Because children are more vulnerable than adults to pests and the pesticides that many schools districts rely on for pest control, it is important for schools to adopt safer pest management methods that do not rely on toxic pesticides.

Here in North Carolina, local school districts have taken the lead in implementing creative, cost-effective programs that ensure clean, safe learning environments for children. The Integrated Pest Management Program at N.C. State University works with these districts to provide trainings and technical resources on pest management. The program also has the support of state agencies, professional associations, local schools and community groups in implementing IPM programs across the state.

On the surface of it, IPM just seems like a common sense idea, said Rep. Grier Martin, addressing the award winners. “You have taken a great idea and turned it into real results on the ground – and that is not easy,” he said. Martin, along with Representatives McLawhorn (Pitt County) and Lucas (Cumberland County) has sponsored legislation that would phase in IPM for all public school districts in North Carolina.

Dr. Jack Cherry, president of the N.C. School Boards Association, and a school board member from Beaufort County, another award winner, had a challenge for the group. “Let’s make sure that all 115 local school districts can be recognized for this high achievement,” he stated. The School Boards Association plays an important role in policy development and promotion for local boards.

Awards were presented to the following school districts. Each district’s school IPM coordinator is listed.

Leadership awards (for long-standing, model IPM programs):
1. Wake County Public Schools, Buddy McCarty
2. Catawba County Schools, Jane Williams
3. Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Schools, Jack Ward
4. Buncombe County Schools, Clark Wyatt
5. Pitt County Schools, Douglas Price Jr.

Program Awards (for strong new IPM programs):
6. Elkin City Schools (Yadkin Co.), Ron Mack
7. Granville County Schools, Sydney Moody
8. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Chip Irby
9. Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, James Reuter
10. Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools, Steve Cutright
11. Orange County Schools, William Crabtree

Initiative Awards (for school systems that are in the process of implementing an IPM program):
1. Haywood County Schools, Ray Hipps
2. Yancey County Schools, Niles Howell
3. McDowell County Schools, Gavin Trinks
4. Rowan-Salisbury County Schools, Tim Pharar
5. Durham County Schools, Randy Tant
6. Cumberland County Schools, Robert Kelly
7. Robeson County Schools, Earney Hammonds
8. Vance County Schools, Claiborne Woods
9. Beaufort County Schools, Phillip Boyd
10. Yadkin County Schools, Donald Hawks

Posted by Natalie at October 25, 2005 04:08 PM