MUSD Earns National Recognition for Maintaining Clean, Healthy and Pest-Free Campuses
The Maricopa Unified School District has earned IPM STAR certification after undergoing a thorough, 37-point evaluation of its integrated pest management (IPM) program. IPM STAR is a certification program for school systems that use IPM, which is a low-risk, common sense approach to solving pest problems with a minimum of pesticide use.
MUSD began its IPM program in 2012 when MUSD’s IPM coordinator Daniel Vezie approached Dr. Dawn Gouge, Professor and IPM Specialist with the University of Arizona (UA), with questions about managing pests. The UA IPM Team led by Dr. Shaku Nair, worked with the MUSD facilities management team to inform district staff about IPM and how best to implement best practices in the district.
Dr. Gouge praises the efforts of MUSD’s facility management team. “MUSD are lucky to have Dan Vezie, Chad Whittle and Jim Shoaf on their management team, all are dedicated to establishing nothing short of the most excellent standards.” Dr. Shaku Nair coordinates the UA Community IPM Team. She commends MUSD on their achievement and dedication to excellence. “Dan, Chad and Jim are a pleasure to work with, and have worked tirelessly as IPM champions for their school district.” Dr. Shujuan Li is also a UA Community IPM Team member and an expert on Public Health Pests. “I live in the wonderful town of Maricopa and understand the unique challenges the rural desert environment can bring,” says Dr. Li. “MUSD puts student health and safety first, and I am very happy they will be recognized for their commitment.”
IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. The only other school district to receive this award in 2017 was Milwaukee Public Schools, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.