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George Sullivan ‘07 Named Belmont Hill Sustainability Coordinator

George Sullivan ‘07 Named Belmont Hill Sustainability Coordinator

George Sullivan ‘07 was recently appointed to the position of Sustainability Coordinator at Belmont Hill. Mr. Sullivan joined Belmont Hill's faculty in 2019. Following his graduation from Belmont Hill in 2007, he pursued his education at Williams College, majoring in Political Science. He also enriched his academic journey with a summer program at the London School of Economics, focusing on finance. Prior to joining Belmont Hill, Mr. Sullivan taught at The Pingry School. At Belmont Hill, Mr. Sullivan instructs courses in U.S. History, Economics, and Government while also serving as a coach for both Middle School and varsity wrestling teams. 

“I think we're at a critical moment in Belmont Hill's history when it comes to sustainability,” Mr. Sullivan recently stated.  “John McAlpin stewarded our sustainability efforts for decades and we've made incredible progress over that time thanks to his efforts. Though this is technically a "new" role, John has held this job informally for years, and we simply wouldn't be in a position to take the next steps without his sustained commitment.” Mr. Sullivan believes Belmont Hill is now in a place where it has some real momentum in terms of student initiatives and leadership as well as institutional support to push forward, and its sustainability committee has been able to imagine Belmont Hill becoming a difference-maker and leader when it comes to sustainability. “I absolutely see us as an emerging leader in this space,” he explained. “For me, taking responsibility for stewarding our institutions and our environment is an aspect of one's character, and no one does character education better than Belmont Hill. That's what makes me so excited to take on this role.” 

Mr. Sullivan notes that the scope of the opportunity to promote sustainability at Belmont Hill cannot be overstated. “We have a great student leadership group in place that has an ambitious vision for what we can do both in service and in the study of the environment on and off campus,” he said. “I'm thrilled to be able to facilitate their efforts. Given our location in Belmont and being adjacent to the Habitat, we also have incredible partners in exploring sustainability initiatives and providing our students with real scenarios to learn from and contribute to.” He also adds that Belnont Hill already has a great deal of curricular programming and extracurricular initiatives relating to sustainability, so a great deal of this role will involve coordinating and organizing these efforts to maximize their impact. 

He believes that one of the biggest challenges at this point is a sense of hopelessness in the face of the environmental challenges we face as a society. “It's not fun to talk about the systemic climate risks and sacrifices we need to make as a society to address climate change and protect our environment,” he explained. “The reality, though, is that there is so much we can do to help, whether that's learning about and advocating for more responsible policy, being entrepreneurial and finding problems to solve in our own communities, or even just taking accountability and being more responsible as individuals. I hope that our efforts will empower students to think critically about the situation we face and rise to the challenge of creating a better future.”

Mr. Sullivan holds that a coordinated sustainability plan is vital to Belmont Hill's future. “An overwhelming body of scientific evidence suggests that a changing climate will be a defining issue, if not the defining issue of the society in which our current students will live,” he noted, adding that a sustainability plan puts in place a framework by which Belmont Hill can systematically contemplate the challenges that lie ahead and take the necessary steps to prepare both the students and the School for this future. “We need a clear-eyed and deliberate plan. This will help our school be more responsible and proactive when it comes to stewarding the environment, and it will organize our efforts to give our students the skills, knowledge, and, perhaps most importantly, initiative to operate in this dynamic, ambiguous future.” 


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