Invest in Our Planet

April 21, 2023

State Senator Jan Hochadel.

The Cheshire Academy community held its fifth annual Earth Day celebration on Wednesday, April 19, with a panel of guest speakers and a “carbon cutting” ceremony in recognition of the school’s installed solar array. 

This year’s programming was themed “Invest in our Planet,” with guests from across the state and region speaking on how they and their organizations are investing in Earth to ensure a brighter tomorrow for future generations. 

Aziz Dehkan, executive director of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

Starting the day were remarks by Head of School Julie Anderson and Sustainability Coordinator Jen Dillon, followed by keynote speakers Jan Hochadel, state senator who serves as vice chair of the Environment Committee, and Aziz Dehkan, executive director of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. 

Following Dehkan’s and Hochadel’s presentations, students participated in a speaker round robin, where they heard from: 

  • Larry Campana, associate director of the Connecticut Green Bank’s Clean Energy Investment team  
  • Terri Eickel, executive director of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network 
  • Dan Giuffrida, founder and CEO of Plankton Energy LLC 
  • Ethan Lucas, project director with FishWise 


Closing out the day was a “carbon cutting” ceremony to recognize the installation of a 229-kilowatt solar array on campus, with panels installed on four buildings: the John J. White ’38 Science and Technology Center, the Gideon Welles Dining Commons, Woodbury Hall, and the facilities building. The panels are expected to generate an estimated 320,000 kilowatt-hours per year. 

See more photos from this year’s Earth Day celebration on our Flickr photo gallery.