Lt. Gov. Angela McLean won an award last Thursday at a National Lieutenant Governors Association meeting for her promotion of sustainable energy use in schools. 

General Electric and the NGLA presented McLean with the Public Leadership in Energy and Environmental Stewardship award for her work championing Saving Money and Resources Today, or SMART, schools program. 

"In my twenty years as a high school teacher, I was fortunate to see the innovation of Montana students and teachers. Through the SMART Schools Challenge we're harnessing that innovation to promote health and save schools money through energy efficiency measures," McLean said in a press release. "I'm humbled to receive this award on behalf of the students and teachers making a difference across Montana."

The SMART initiative challenges schools to lower their carbon footprint by developing a recycling program, bolstering school use of "green practices" or promoting energy efficiency and conservation. Top schools won a $1,000 cash prize. 

The idea behind the program is that money saved on energy can be reinvested in educational material.

During the first year, 47 schools signed up to take the challenge.

The NLGA meeting was held in Washington, D.C. and focused on federal work that will impact states.

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