Richard (Tré) Diemer, the State of Vermont middle level winner of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, was honored at a school assembly on Tuesday, April 29, with the following dignitaries present to help congratulate the seventh grader: Miro Weinberger, mayor of Burlington; Mona Faulkner, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the State of Vermont; John Powell, school outreach coordinator for Casella Solid Waste District (CSWD); Paul Jette, school principal; Anthony Fontana, assistant principal; and Michaela Forgione, state winner of last year’s Prudential Spirit of Community Award and student council representative. During the ceremony, Faulkner presented Diemer with the Prudential Spirit of Community silver medallion.
The seventh grader received this award for his efforts in encouraging students and adults to care for the health of the environment, which he did in two ways – being instrumental in replacing the school’s old water fountains with two water filling stations, and planning for the installation of a sorting station in the school’s student dining room.
In preparation for the assembly event, Diemer created a PowerPoint presentation in which he illustrated the process he used to bring the water filling stations to the school, including his close work with Powell, who helped him receive a $2,000 grant for the project. The video showed diagrams of the future sorting station, which will be installed in the new school year.
In addition to the silver medallion, the Prudential Spirit of Community awarded Diemer with an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. during the first week of May for him and his parents and a money award of $1,000. While Diemer is in Washington, the names of five national honorees will be announced. Winners will receive $5,000 for themselves and $5,000 for a non-profit organization of their choice.
Diemer is hoping to be one of the national honorees, but in his words, “I never expected to be chosen the State honoree and I can’t wait to go to Washington, D.C.”