Student passes national LEED Green Associate exam

Fox Chapel Area School District  |  Posted on

Fox Chapel Area High School senior Isabella Krisky recently passed the LEED Green Associate exam. She is the first student in Fox Chapel Area history to take and pass the test. The credential is certified by the United States Green Building Council and affirms a professional’s thorough comprehension of green building principles and practices.

According to Fox Chapel Area High School engineering teacher Justin Papariello, “It is also very rare for high school students nationwide to take the exam. In fact, it was only recently opened to students under the age of 18 in 2016.”

Isabella says Papariello, knowing her interests, suggested that she take the exam. Once she looked into the subjects that the test covers, such as rainwater collection and natural landscape adaptation, she knew she was very interested. “The most significant motivator was simply because I truly enjoy that content and wanted to expand my knowledge in a field I hope to be a part of in the future,” she says.

In addition to taking accelerated and Advanced Placement science classes at Fox Chapel Area High School, Isabella has also taken an advanced engineering and innovation class that is designed to prepare students to enter postsecondary education in the fields of engineering, architecture, and other STEM-related fields. “Students are tasked with real-world, hands-on problems that they must solve using digital fabrication tools like 3-D printers, CNC machines, and laser engravers,” Papariello says.

Once she decided to take the exam, Isabella created her own study guide and schedule. Papariello supported her by providing the study materials, discussing difficult exam topics, and providing solutions through his advanced engineering and innovation class. “Passing this exam has helped me by giving me a more detailed look into the real-life applications of an environmental engineering degree and careers I could pursue in the future,” Isabella says. “Studying for this exam has also helped me prepare for college, as I had to be strict with my time management and study tools to be successful.”

Isabella hopes to get an internship this summer with an engineering firm that uses LEED standards. She will also carry this certification with her to Carnegie Mellon University next school year as she pursues a degree in environmental engineering. She wants to someday work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on hazardous waste sites or within the national parks system.

Papariello sums up Isabella best when he says, “Bella is a fabulous ambassador of Fox Chapel Area High School and its technology education department. During her time here, she exemplified the characteristics of a motivated, intelligent, and ambitious student. In the future, she will be an attribute to Carnegie Mellon University and a superior future engineer.”