For Immediate Release
Contact: Pete Osborne, ORSSAB Support Office (865) 576-1590

Knox, Anderson County Students Recognized
for Contribution to DOE Advisory Board

Award Presentation
Oak Ridge High School graduate Jenna Carignan and Karns High School graduate David Johnson display the plaques of appreciation they received from DOE-Oak Ridge Manager Gerald Boyd at the April 9 SSAB meeting.

Oak Ridge, Tenn. - June 13, 2003 - Who can forget those wonderful high school days: making new friends, competing in sports activities, studying waste criteria for the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) environmental management program ?

It may not be as glamorous as being on the football team, but for two recent high school graduates, advising DOE on its cleanup program had some very unique benefits, and from their perspective, it was time well spent.

David Johnson of Karns High School and Jenna Carignan of Oak Ridge High School just finished a year as student representatives to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (SSAB), an independent citizens’ panel chartered in 1995 to advise DOE on environmental cleanup issues at its Oak Ridge site.

“We appreciate David and Jenna taking the time to participate on the SSAB,” said Gerald Boyd, DOE-Oak Ridge Manager. “Oak Ridge is the only SSAB across the country to have student representatives, and I think it’s wonderful that our local high school students have this type of educational opportunity."

For Johnson, being part of the SSAB was a great learning opportunity. “There’s a lot of bureaucracy in government,” he said, “and there are a lot of environmental problems in Oak Ridge that need to be fixed. But it’s good to see that citizens have been able to guide DOE in the cleanup."

Carignan agrees. “This year has been an amazing opportunity to see how the community has been involved in influencing and making their opinions known to government agencies,” she said. “It’s been interesting to me to see how the whole process works. It’s been fun, too."

The SSAB student membership program began in 1999 with one student. The program was then expanded so that one student would be selected each year from Oak Ridge High School, and another would be chosen on a rotating basis from one of the high schools surrounding Oak Ridge.

“The legacy of DOE activities on the Oak Ridge Reservation will be with us for a long, long time, so it’s crucial that the next generation, as well as those that follow, be informed, active participants in remediation decision-making,” said Dave Mosby, SSAB Chairman. “We owe it to them to teach them, and they owe it to themselves to take responsibility for the world they are to inherit."

With Johnson’s and Carignan’s tenure on the SSAB now complete, at least two area students have taken an important step in that direction.