Governor Jay Inslee visited Hockinson School District on Wednesday, September 6, to discuss recent commerce-supported energy efficiency projects installed throughout the district’s schools. Energy efficiency grant dollars from the Washington Department of Commerce allowed Hockinson School District to make facilities improvements that lower energy costs, improve comfort, better air quality, and increase sustainability at Hockinson Heights Elementary School, Hockinson Community Ed Center, and the District Office.

Gov Jay Inslee talks with students

“The center of the solar system for fighting climate change is not Paris, it’s not Tokyo, it’s right here in Hockinson,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Through the Climate Commitment Act, $50 million is in the pipeline for exactly these kinds of initiatives. As I travel for these programs, I am going to be telling Hockinson’s story.”

Hockinson School District applied for and was awarded the largest Energy Efficiency Grant of the 2021 cycle based on demonstrated need. Beginning in February 2023, contractors began work at the Hockinson Community Ed Center and the District Office to retrofit the HVAC systems. In March 2023, work replacing controls and lighting began at Hockinson Heights Elementary School.

Hockinson School District also receives support from ClimeTime, the Climate Education initiative in Washington State. Over 20 teachers in Hockinson have participated in a ClimeTime workshop for professional learning about building connections to climate change into curriculum.

“Whether students are exploring how rising temperatures will affect salmon in the Columbia River or understanding how to make our school buildings more energy efficient, Hockinson students are using science learning to help us solve real world problems,” said Stacy Meyer, Regional Science Coordinator at ESD 112.

Inslee visited with Hockinson Middle School student Rhys Ruhl and Hockinson Heights Elementary School students Bear Ricks, Eli Carter, Kevin Brown, Perry Burnham, and Charlie Munson-Young.

“I am so inspired by the student leaders that I spoke with in Hockinson,” said Inslee.

Governor Jay Inslee’s visit to Hockinson School District celebrated sustainability, student leadership, and fiscal responsibility. The Climate Commitment Act will soon fund energy efficiency projects, like those recently completed at Hockinson School District, across the state.