Environmental Sustainability at LWHS

In response to student advocacy efforts, PTSA President Tanya Knudsen and Sustainability Chair Stephanie Lecovin are working with students, teachers/staff, administration, and parents to facilitate a comprehensive sustainability culture at Lake Washington High School! Tanya is leading the community through the Creative Problem-Solving process from visioning toward an actionable plan, while Stephanie is contributing over 15 years of relevant PTSA and sustainability experience and knowledge. Together, the school community is beginning this culture change by focusing efforts on waste reduction, with three initial goals: (1) conducting a food waste audit; (2) adding recycling and composting stations in the lunchroom (the “Commons”); and (3) implementing a food share/food donation program during lunch service. They aim to have all three of these goals fully implemented or in process by Earth Week, observed April 17-21. 

Many thanks to Principal Bell and Administrative Intern Jennifer Quillin for their tremendous leadership and support, and to those who have contributed so far to visioning and brainstorming sessions held over the last several weeks. 

Click here to learn more about the brainstorming session held on March 8th with students and teachers. And check out this KANG TV News story with the LWHS Green Team about composting!

Upcoming Dates:
April 17-21: Earth Week

Past Dates:
Brainstorming Sessions: 
Parents/Teachers/Students on Mar 8, 1PM

Visioning Sessions:
Students: Feb 10 - Roo A & B  
Parents Zoom: ​Feb 13, 7pm
Parent/Teacher @LWHS: Feb 22, 1:30pm 


Tanya Knudsen, LWHS PTSA President
Stephanie Lecovin, Sustainability Chair

Next Steps: Develop Ideas

Ideas are not solutions. Turning ideas into solutions is the juncture that involves continued exploration (divergent thinking) as well as putting on the breaks to affirm what is viable, doable and stands out. Creative questions invite us to get right to work on renewed yet focused thinking. As we approach Earth Week, these creative questions will help in moving us toward the goal for all school transformation toward composting April 2023.


Principal Bell kicked off the food waste audit on Thursday, March 16th in the Commons, where 17 students, most from the Green Team and Honor Society, joined Sustainability Chair Stephanie Lecovin, PTSA President Tanya Knudsen, and Green Team Advisor Andrea Thody in weighing and measuring the waste from lunch that day, then sorting it into what could have been donated/shared, composted, recycled or trashed. The waste audit is critical for establishing a baseline and determining next steps for creating a new waste disposal system that includes food donation, compost, and recyclables. The group plans to have their new composting system up and running by Earth Week, April 17-21.

Students getting ready for the food waste audit from the kitchen
and the commons (upstairs and main floor) on Thursday, March 16th.


Clarifying the Challenge


For those who were not able to join the Visioning sessions but want a peek into what you missed, here are some examples of the process and outputs. 




Students contributed thoughtful visions:

Example of visionary thinking


Common Themes: 
Food choices
Hardscape (building & exterior environment)
Softscape (inside space)

Visioning Outcomes







Check back in for ongoing updates to this Sustainability effort!

Tanya Knudsen, LWHS PTSA President
Stephanie Lecovin, Sustainability Chair