t. Stephen's & St. Agnes School proudly hosts the annual Students For Sustainability Conference (S4S) in Alexandria, Virginia. Students and teachers from Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland schools are invited to attend a day of education, discussion, and planning for environmental sustainability in their schools and communities. Originated at SSSAS in 2008, it's the only event of its kind in the Greater Washington area.

Monday, April 21, 2014 
(rescheduled from January 21)

St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School
Upper School Campus
Alexandria, Virginia  22304
This year we will place special emphasis on 6th-8th grade regional middle school students! We invite middle school students to join us for this educational, fun, and rewarding experience at the sixth annual Students for Sustainability Conference (S4S)! Bring a “green delegation” to be part of this exciting day of learning, discussion, and planning for environmental stewardship and solutions in your school and community. This year, we specifically invite 6th, 7th, and 8th grade student environmental activists and their faculty chaperones to the conference. This new middle school focus will bring great energy to this year’s gathering, and we welcome students from Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia schools to this special day. There are also opportunities for high school students, so read on!

Stephen Ritz
Keynote speaker
Our conference speaker is community activist and science teacher Stephen Ritz, founder of the Green Bronx Machine! Mr. Ritz’s work with school gardens, farmers markets, green roofs, and inventive gardening in schools has transformed students’ lives and the communities where they live. His inspiring story asks each of us to play a transformative role in our community and live healthier lives, starting with growing our own food at school!

Break-out Sessions
After the keynote, students will learn from environmental professionals and from environmentally inspired high school students, who will show how they are working toward a more sustainable future across the region, and around the world.

High school students who are interested in presenting a break-out session are asked to submit a proposal. Please review this page and complete the online form by November 15. This is a terrific opportunity for public speaking experience and to share your knowledge and excitement for sustainability with younger students!

Snacks and lunch will be healthy and local. As always, S4S is a waste-free event.

An interactive Green Forum after lunch will give students the chance to weigh in on environmental issues and compete for prizes in a match of “green” knowledge. A raffle concludes the conference.
Poster Session
All attending middle schools are asked to prepare a 24” x 36” poster for a display at the conference. The topic for your poster is: “How our school makes a greener future.” Learn more about the poster requirements.
Conference Schedule
8:45 am Check-in, sign up for breakout sessions, snack          
9:15 am Keynote Address
10:45 am Round I of breakout sessions
11:30 am Round II of breakout sessions
12:10 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Green Forum and door prizes
2:00 pm Conference concludes
S4S History and Highlights
  • S4S was originated by St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in 2008 as part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability. It is the only event of its kind in the Greater Washington area.
  • Each year, more than 120 students from approximately 25 schools participate.
  • S4S has received letters of recognition from former Vice President Al Gore, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia, and Alexandria Mayor William Euille. 
  • Multiple breakout sessions led by students and adults
  • Local and organic foods for snack and lunch
  • Tours of our own Perkins Courtyard that is an organic garden and habitat sanctuary
  • Waste-free conference, compostable serviceware
  • Past keynote speeches by Chris Jordan, Artist; Mike Tidwell (Chesapeake Climate Action Network); Phil Ellis
    (Sierra Club); Alan Palm (The Alliance for Climate Education), and Spencer Wells (National Geographic Society)
  • The conference has been featured by The Washington Post, Alexandria Gazette-Packet, Alexandria Times, WUSA-9, FOX5 news, the Green Schools Alliance, National Association of Independent Schools, and Independent Education.
Other Considerations

What to Bring: Please bring the necessary emergency/medical information for each participant from your school. Each conference participant should bring a pen, and paper, as these will not be provided at the conference.
Shuttle Bus:  If your school has chosen to take Metrorail to the King Street Metro Station (yellow/blue line) please let us know as soon as you register.  The SAINTS bus will pick you up at the Metro station Monday promptly at 8:30 a.m. The shuttle will leave SSSAS at 1:50 p.m. to return you to the Metro station.
The S4S conference will take place on our Upper School campus at 1000 St. Stephen’s Rd. in Alexandria, Virginia. Be sure to note that we have two other campuses. Directions to the Upper School can be found here on our website. When you arrive on campus, we will direct you to parking and the location for registration.

Check-In: Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. in our Chapel/Performing Arts Center (CPAC). The contact person for your school should check-in at the registration table, while all other participants create name tags for themselves. At registration, you will pick up a S4S conference water bottle for each member of your group.  If someone from your school is leading a breakout session during Round I, that person will be asked to go with a "Saint" to check the set-up for your session.

Breakout Session Sign-Up:  The contact person at each school has received a list of the breakout sessions offered. During check-in, each participant will select the 2 sessions he/she would like to attend. Session leaders do not need to sign-up for their own sessions.  We encourage you to “spread out” amongst the many breakout session offerings, to maximize the benefits of the conference that you can take back to your school.

Parts of the conference will be photographed and videotaped for use on our school website. school publications, and for the
conference website. The conference also may be attended by members of the media, and photos/video could be used in articles or television news. Please make sure all participants from your school are aware of this. If any participant from your school does NOT wish to be included, please inform us in writing.

Getting around SSSAS: Our own student and faculty "Saints" are available to help direct you over the course of the day. Just look for students or adults wearing red "Saints" shirts! We keep snacks and refreshments available during the conference to keep our attendees happy and alert!

S4S Videos
S4S 2014
S4S Photos
2014 S4S Conference Highlights
Contact Us
Please direct any questions to Brian Kane, director of environmental stewardship at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School, via email at or by phone at 703-212-2912.
2014 Breakout Sessions
Battlefield: Farm
Christopher Newman, SSSAS Class of 2000
Annie Newman
Sylvanaqua Farms, Earlysville, Virginia

To the Stratosphere and Beyond!
Robert Landolfi
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

Raptors: An Important Part of our Region
(features live birds of prey)
Kent Knowles, Raptor Conservancy of Virginia

I'm Gonna Pop some Veggies:
Only Got 20 Seeds in My Pocket
Planning and Designing Your Garden
Morgan Maloney and Benjamin Bartley
Arcadia Food, Alexandria, Virginia

Stormwater Woes: Keeping your School's Runoff Clean
Jeremy Hassan, P.E.
Senior Envioronmental Specialist
City of Alexandria, Virginia

Fun with Junk!
Susan Miranda and Kelley Organek
Upcycle Creative Reuse Center, Alexandria, Virginia

Energy Conservation in  United States Navy & Marine Corps
CAPT James Goudreau, USN
Navy Energy Coordination Office

Beelicious Honey and Beekeeping
Lauren Neville and Sam Kenny
American University, Washington, DC

Is that Soccer Field Sustainable? Going Green in Parks & Recreation!
Bethany Znidersic and Dana Wedeles,
City of Alexandria Parks, Recreation & Cultural Activities

Inside the Saints'  Organic Garden: Six Years of Student Labor
Brian Kane, LEED, RLA
Director of Environmental Stewardship, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School

Student Speakers: NEW!
T.C. Williams's Discovery Garden: Touch the Compost!
Cameron Heyden and Kidest Hailu, T.C. Williams High School

Take Back the Tap: Eliminate Bottled Water from Your Campus!
Marie Therese Kane, '14, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School

Root 4 Trees: An Award-Winning App
Abbie Henshaw, Jessica Lopez, Nikki Bires, Claire Fergusson, SSSAS '20
Leslie Lytle, Sofie Drexler
Coach: Katie Henshaw, SSSAS '16
St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School

Registration is now closed. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and closes when we reach our maximum attendance. A registration fee of $25 per person is required.