The teachers at Plainville High School were ready for another routine faculty meeting this afternoon when some unfamiliar guests with balloons entered the room. The teachers’ confused expressions quickly gave way to excited applause when they heard the reason for the visit: their school had been selected by NEA auto and home insurance provider California Casualty for a teachers’ lounge makeover.
English teacher Debbie Seibert submitted the entry that won her school the honor. She was thrilled by the news. “I’m very grateful,” Seibert said.
Marie Gull of California Casualty told the teachers, “You’re our heroes. We’re so proud of what you do.” She said that her company has awarded six makeovers since the program began three years ago.
The Plainville lounge selected for the makeover is used mostly by the English department staff, and after the announcement the English teachers went to discuss their ideas for the makeover with Marc Canady of EON Office. California Casualty hires EON to take care of the design work for the project.
Seibert was clear that her highest priority for the space is a couch. The teachers all chimed in adding to the wish list: art for the walls, a longer table so they can all eat together, shelves for books, new paint in warm, soothing colors.
“We spend a lot of time in this room,” Seibert said. “We break bread together a lot, so it will be very nice to have a new space.”
Seibert said the English department frequently eats together, and since they’re short a classroom, teachers without a room also regularly use the lounge to work.
English department instructional leader Diane Rich said, “This is such a surprise and we’re so pleased by this. We’re so happy Debbie won.”
Canady told the teachers his goal is to have the space redesigned for them by the New Year.
California Casualty’s school lounge makeover contest is open to all CEA members in Connecticut and NEA members in 43 other states. To enter your school, click here.