Natalee Litchfield has spearheaded a Styrofoam-free cafeteria and brings high school closer to green school status

PIONEER PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Molalla High School sophomore Natalee Litchfield has been selected as the Molalla Pioneer's 2018 Amazing Kid for her leadership, kindness and for her efforts in making her school more environmentally friendly.
Natalee Litchfield is a self-proclaimed dreamer, but she has a way of turning dreams, like a Styrofoam-free lunchroom, into reality, which is why she has been selected as the Molalla Pioneer's 2018 Amazing Kid.

"I remember learning about how bad Styrofoam was, and it was kind of this realization, like okay, why do we use it in the cafeteria?" Natalee says. "It doesn't make a lot of sense. Then I looked into it. I thought it was going to be easier…but it's definitely worthwhile."

Through persistence and several meetings with the principal, the district's food services, the county and the school board, Natalee has finally convinced the masses to rid Molalla High School of Styrofoam beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.

"No inconvenience is too grand for her if it means to make the world a better place," says Julie Walker, one of the Molalla High School teachers who nominated Natalee.

But Natalee's dreams don't stop at Styrofoam. After the project, Natalee began learning more about the environment.

"Not just Styrofoam, but there's a lot of other things that I think we should do too," Natalee says. "We need to cut down on paper, energy, a lot of different categories."

Natalee is currently applying for Molalla to become a certified green school, which will require even more changes.

When she's not advocating for reducing the school's environmental footprint, Natalee is often writing. She was recently accepted into and given a partial scholarship for the competitive NYC Summer Academy from the School of the New York Times, where she will attend this summer.

"I am so proud of her, and this acknowledgment is well earned," says Hayley Zeal, an MHS English teacher, who also nominated Natalee.

This year's Amazing Kids celebration will be held Monday, April 30 at OMSI. Former Portland Trailblazer Brian Grant will be the guest speaker.

Look for Natalee's full story in a special Amazing Kids section coming out in the May 2 edition and then online at

Kristen Wohlers
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