• An email to the district sent out by Craig Pletenik Community Relations Cooridnator on 10/22/13:

    South Mountain Special Education teacher Ian Walden was recognized last week as the Arizona Recycling Coalition’s School Recycling Representative of the Year at the AZRC Conference in Phoenix.  Last year, his Community Skills students began recycling for the school’s Recycling Club.  They recycle for all the office on campus as well as the 40 bins that are next to the trash cans outside.  They replace bags in the bins, dump recycling when it is full and go around to classrooms/offices to dump theirs, as well.


    Recycling gives his students a sense of accountability for their campus and gives them the opportunity to gain skills that will help them after high school in a vocational program.    Walden’s students love recycling and think it is their personal responsibility to all of the students, teachers and school.  It is rewarding to them because it gives them a sense of independence, but also allows them to participate in their school and take pride in their work.


    Here is an excerpt from the presentation script that brought tears and a standing ovation from the audience:

    “Recycling has helped my students find their place on campus.  They may not have the dexterity to play an instrument in the band, or score a touchdown on the field, but they are consistent and motivated in everything they set their mind to.  Wheelchairs, deafness, Autism, intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injury are always with them; but it is their school, their community and their world.  It is just a part of their responsibility, as it is anyone else’s, and nothing is going to stand in their way.”

Last Modified on October 25, 2013