COLORADO SPRINGS — Teachers have always had an essential, but challenging, job. This year, educators have also had to handle new health guidelines, the transition to hybrid models of learning, and a potential risk of exposure to the virus. At Mann Middle School, teachers now have a renovated teachers' lounge as sign of appreciation for all that they do.
The Success Collective is a business networking platform, meant to connect local business owners and entrepreneurs with the goal of serving the community. They are the organization responsible for the transformation of the teachers' lounge at Mann Middle School. The project took around two months of design time, one month of fundraising, and about two weeks of implementation. They raised around $7,500 in donations for the renovation, and had over one hundred volunteers help.
"This was one way, one tangible way, that we could express to them that they're valued and they're loved, and that we appreciate everything that they're doing for the youth in our community," said Jessica Daniels, one of the co-founders of The Success Collective.
Courtney Donnell is a seventh grade teacher at Mann Middle School, who said all of this started when the attendance secretary found a contest, and after speaking with the office staff, decided to nominate Donnell. That's how the school was selected for the renovation. "When you get appreciation like this, and so grand, you know, it just reinforces that you're doing the right things, and I couldn't do it without my co-workers," said Donnell.
When asked how Donnell would describe the teachers' lounge before the renovation, she said it was "tacky, cluttered, and dysfunctional."
However, now she calls it "breathtaking, very comfortable, functional, and streamlined... Every time I look around, I see something new I didn't see before."
The Chair of the Project, Branwen Cole, said was basically the carpenter for the task. Cole said donations were still rolling in the night before the big reveal. "There was so much heart and love given to this project," said Cole.
Many, many other people helped make this project possible. Here is a list of those who participated, from The Success Collective: