China Primary School’s faculty lounge gets a nice face lift

Faculty at China Primary School enjoy their redecorated staff room. (photo courtesy of Melissa Robbie)

Submitted by Melissa Robie Calouro
Pre-K teacher at CPS

As most people are already aware, teaching young children is already an exhausting profession – but with quarantines, masking, and social distancing, the last couple of “Covid” years have brought teachers to a new level of exhaustion! Our China Schools Parent Teacher Organi­zation (PTO) noticed this and wanted to show their love and support in a way that would be useful to our staff every day.

They noticed our staff room was dated, plain, and downright gloomy – so a team of parents set out to revitalize our break space – as a surprise! They worked tirelessly gathering donations from area businesses and set to work over Christmas break to transform our break room into a truly magical and relaxing environment. They painted all the walls and cabinetry (including mailboxes!) in coordinating bright aqua and tranquil grays with a splash of sunshine yellow.

The newly-renovated staff room at the China Primary School, through the hard work of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization. (photo courtesy of Melissa Robbie)

They equipped the room with:

  • New coordinating curtains;
  • Two brand-new microwaves;
  • A brand-new Keurig – complete with coffees, teas, hot chocolate, insulated cups/lids, creamer and sugar;
  • A brand-new refrigerator, fully stocked with healthy snacks and lunch options as well as sparkling waters and sodas;
  • A popcorn popper with popcorn kernels, popping oil, and popcorn seasonings;
  • A dining room table with chairs adorned with a fruit bowl and candy dish;
  • Two comfy chairs to sit back in;
  • A side table with a lamp to provide soft lighting;
  • A bar with bar stools to increase capacity and aesthetic;
  • A gorgeous painting of the ocean (painted and donated by a CPS parent);
  • Silverware, kitchen utensils, kitchen towels;
  • Shelving with decorations.

Specific PTO members and their families who dedicated hours into planning and the physical transformation of our staff room:

Megan Randazza, Bobbie and Ben Weymouth, Rebecca & Tim DeWitt, Raigan and Curtis York, and Percy O’Clair.

Community Donors:

Lakeview Lumber – Monetary donation;
Bry-Ann Mattingly – a parent and local artist who painted and donated the gorgeous ocean painting;
Bruce & Kathy Plaisted – bar stools;
Central Church — 2 microwaves and new Keurig coffee maker;
China Schools PTO – money, time, ideas, and effort;
Home Depot – Gift card;
Lowe’s – 5 gallons of paint.

(photo courtesy of Melissa Robbie)

The school staff had many positive feedbacks for the project:

“Every single teacher who walked into that room this morning instantly felt the love! We are so incredibly lucky to have parents and a community like ours who make us feel so appreciated in these crazy times. I’m looking forward to many lunches and laughs with my coworkers in the beautiful space you all created for us!” – Alyssa Bentley, Fourth Grade Teacher, at China Primary School.

“Everyone is so blown away at seeing this wonderful expression of appreciation from our PTO and community! Thank you to all who contributed to this project. We appreciate your generosity, time, and efforts. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!” – Linda Bengtson, administrative assistant at China Primary School.

“This beautiful makeover was just the morale booster we needed. Thank you so much for all of the hard work and creativity that you all put into this project!” – Lori Maxim, fourth grade teacher, at China Primary School.

“What an amazing transformation! Thank you so much for creating such a peaceful, warm, and inviting space for us to enjoy. Every detail was completed with such love!” – Melissa Robie Calouro, pre-K teacher, at China Primary School.

“It was so wonderful to walk into this beautiful surprise! Thank you to everyone who helped make this project possible. We are so fortunate to have you.” – Kathy Jacobs, special education teacher, at China Primary School.

“Just incredible! My mouth seriously dropped when I walked in. Such a wonderful present. Thank you all so much for all of your hard work!” – Brittany Dunn, kindergarten teacher, at China Primary School.

“I don’t even have words for it! It felt like a whole different place. I’m still emotional thinking about it. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!” – Jennifer Gledhill, third grade teacher, at China Primary School.


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