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Santa Barbara Middle School’s New Year’s Resolution: Stay Green

Students renew their commitment to community service while making green lifestyle choices.

One form of a New Year’s resolution is to keep improving upon one’s strengths.

This is what officials from the private Santa Barbara Middle School say they are resolving to do with their commitment to promoting the school’s “green philosophy.”

“As a parent and business owner on the forefront of the green movement, Santa Barbara Middle School is the ideal environment for children to actively learn about their world and gain confidence for the future,” Gillian Christie, mother of a Santa Barbara Middle School alum, said in a statement.


Located at 2300 A Garden St., the school — the only stand-alone co-ed accredited middle school in California — is well known for its mountain biking, kayaking and backpacking trips, as well as taking students on educational excursions to places such as Santa Barbara County’s backcountry wilderness, the Grand Canyon region and Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.

Former Santa Barbara Middle School student Theo Tiffney, who advocates using the local public bus system as a way to reduce greenhouse gases, was recently asked to participate in an MTD ad campaign designed to increase teen ridership. SBMS alumnus and current UC Berkeley student Jacob Seigel Boettner works with the international nonprofit Project Rwanda and organized a group of fellow alums who traveled to Rwanda to build bicycles and teach mechanics to the country’s bike-dependent coffee farmers.

Santa Barbara Middles School students collectively volunteer approximately 5,000 hours in the community annually, according to development director Christine Cowles.

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