Tulsa Teacher Gets Classroom 'Extreme Makeover'

Monday, September 21st 2015, 11:07 pm
By: News On 6

In just one weekend, a major classroom makeover was completed.

This year, one Tulsa Public Schools teacher was chosen for the honor of getting a classroom makeover as a simple way to say “Thank You.”

Lynette Shouse teaches at Grissom Elementary and has been with TPS for 24 years. She received the title of Teacher of the Year, and this weekend got recognition for her hard work and dedication to her students.

We followed the crew from beginning to end as local architects and engineers volunteered time and effort to make her classroom a perfect place to learn.

Friday night at Grissom Elementary, all the students had gone home, but hard work was underway inside.

Beginning promptly at 6:00 p.m., volunteers took everything out of Shouse's classroom and put in brand new furniture for a brand new learning space.

Old furniture was scrubbed down in order to get ready for a fresh coat of paint and shelves were moved to make room for a new reading nook.

Monica Roberts with KSQ Architects said, "Reading is a real focus for her, so she wanted a cozy area where kids could nestle in with books and read."

Close to 50 volunteers worked around the clock for a strict Sunday night deadline.

Shouse knew the makeover was happening but didn't know the details; we heard she is somewhat particular about her things and organization.

"It was funny, when I talked to her on Friday she said her students were like 'Ms. Shouse, are you OK with them coming in and doing this,’" Roberts recalled.

Monday morning, Shouse switched on the lights, with her students in town, and got her first look at her new space.

The students made a beeline for the reading nook, painted Shouse’s favorite color, and as cozy as ever.

It didn't take long before you could see how special the gesture was for Shouse.

“It’s kind of overwhelming. It is beautiful and pretty, and I feel very blessed and honored," she said.

Her students felt the same way.

"This is too cool to be real,” Charlie Folks said.

Daniel Edwards said, “I felt pretty amazed at how much the room has changed, and it’s pretty cool."

“It will make it much more conducive for us to work together and have opportunities to do more hands-on work. I'm very excited about that," Shouse said. “The last couple years for teachers has been very difficult, and it’s just a really big honor and I appreciate they are willing to sacrifice for us."

But not nearly what teachers sacrifice for their students on a daily basis.

This is the third year for KSQ Architecture and Project Classroom.

Many of KSQ's projects are designing education facilities, so they appreciate how good design makes a difference in learning environments.

They said this project was about $2,000, all done with donated supplies and time.