Irmo High School International School for the Arts recognized by Green Steps program

Several Lexington-Richland School District Five schools were recognized for their conservation efforts through the Green Steps Schools program.

Irmo High School International School for the Arts was named the 2020 Overall School of the Year, and also their school volunteer Linda Byars was named the Green Steps Mentor of the Year. The Green Step Schools program encourages individual schools in South Carolina to take annual steps toward becoming more environmentally responsible.

“The SC Green Steps School initiative has been a total team effort, and I am so proud of this recognition for our entire school and community,” said principal Dr. Robin Hardy. “Linda Byars has been the heart and soul of this award. She continues to make great things happen at Irmo High School.”

Lexington County Land Development Stormwater Outreach Assistant Mary Hite added, “I’m thrilled for Linda Byars!  She so clearly deserves this honor.  She exudes joy that comes from the natural world and she has “infected many teachers at Irmo High with it” as well as their students.  I enjoyed watching her working with the students and teachers on their Green Steps projects.”

Other district schools participating in the program include: Dutch Fork Elementary Academy of Environmental Sciences, H. E. Corley Elementary Leadership Magnet and Montessori Magnet School, Irmo Middle School International Magnet, and Leaphart Elementary School STEM Magnet.

The Green Steps program was developed by Keep the Midlands Beautiful (KMB), Sonoco Recycling (SR) and DHEC’s Office of Recycling, Green Steps began in the 2003-2004 school year with seven Midlands schools participating. The program now has 34 schools in 12 counties initiating and sustaining Green Steps projects that fall in the areas of conserve, protect, and restore.

“The SC Green Step Schools Initiative matches schools with qualified local and state environmental educators,” said Jane Hiller, Education Specialist at Sonoco Recycling. “The goal is to help teachers empower their students to learn, do and teach others ways to improve the health of their communities.”

To learn more about the Green Steps Schools program, visit