Eighteen rolls of wallpaper, a can of white paint, two cans of paste, 19 pieces of new furniture and a weekend of intensive volunteer labor transformed a drab and dreary 20-by-20-foot room into a teachers' mecca at Mount Airy Elementary School.
The project was done as a surprise for National Teacher Appreciation Week by the school's Parent Teacher Association tTC executive board and principal BoAnn Bohman.
Work began when a crew of five volunteers with brushes, buckets and a bevy of other decorating tools moved into the windowless, monochromatic teachers' lounge at 6 p.m. last Friday.
Because of the condition of the painted block walls, workers first had to fill in masonry joints and apply liner paper on three walls, said worker Kim Boccabella.
Mrs. Boccabella, who has five children, is a wallpaper hanger with 20 years' experience and customers from Georgetown to Gettysburg.
Mrs. Boccabella tackled the decorating task with the help of her 13-year-old daughter, Helen, and a friend, Susan McTavish.
Mrs. Boccabella said wallpapering was something she could do to show her appreciation to the school's teachers.
Karen Sheridan, a mother of four and an active volunteer at the school, assisted the wallpapering crew and applied coats of white paint to the kitchen unit, inside and out. Mrs. Sheridan, her husband Dean, and Krista Pusateri, another busy PTA volunteer and a mother of three, assembled chairs, tables, a microwave cart and a bookcase for the lounge.
The room's transformation featured two coordinating patterns of elegant black, mauve and ivory wallpaper with gold accents connected by a flowered border. The workers added two flower arrangements and an upscale bulletin board, created with painted and framed lattice, as finishing touches.
MA A framed dedication to school secretary June Gordon, in honor
of her years of service to Mount Airy Elementary, completed the beautification project. Mrs. Gordon, who will retire at the end of June, has worked for Carroll County schools for 31 years, 12 years at Mount Airy Elementary.
The volunteers finished the project on Sunday, Mrs. Sheridan said.
"We could not have done it without the custodians' help," she said.
Dr. Bohman, who had worked with the other volunteers, prepared breakfast foods to serve during the Monday morning surprise unveiling. She said she enjoyed watching the reactions when teachers and staff members saw the redecorated room.
"They were beyond delighted. It was wonderful," she said. "One of them said it was probably the prettiest teachers' room in Carroll County. It changed the whole atmosphere."
The principal, who is completing her first year at the school, said the lounge had "old, broken-down furniture and cement walls" before the renovation. The lounge is the only place teachers and staff have to sit and take a break from their duties.
The idea for adding some ambience to the lounge's blossomed several months ago, Dr. Bohman said.
"We talked about it at the PTA executive board. We thought it would be good to do for teacher appreciation [week]."
Fifth-grade teacher Carolyn Etzler said the school's faculty appreciates the beautification project. Before the transformation, the lounge was "like a closet with regular classroom furniture," she said.
Now, Ms. Etzler said, the look is eye-catching and restful. "It looks homey. It does not look institutional. It's beautiful."
NB Each of Mount Airy Elementary's teachers had four more days of
surprises from the PTA in observance of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Chairwoman Cindy Delaney said teachers were given note pads on Tuesday, scratch-off lottery tickets Wednesday, pink chocolate roses Thursday and apples on Friday.
"All of our teachers are really good teachers," said Mrs. Delaney. "We do this to show we appreciate all their hard work and effort they put into making it a successful school year," Mrs. Delaney said.
Hats off to the Mount Airy 4-H Clovers, who sold home-baked goodies March 26 for donations to the Mount Airy Fire Company toward its two new ambulances.
Four of these civic-minded Clovers -- Tracey McElroy, Vicky Albright, Jenni VanSant and Erica Saxton -- presented a check for $125 to fire company members at the company's meeting on April 7.
The 4-H club thanks everyone who supported the bake sale, including the owners of Mount Airy's Foodrite Groceteria, where the fund-raiser was held.
Together, the ambulances, custom-built in St. Paul, Minn., cost $134,000. The company's auxiliary has pledged to pay the cost of one vehicle, and the fire company is accepting any donations, large or small, toward the balance.
Mount Airy American Legion Post 191 will sponsor another Bonanza Bingo and Dinner event May 15 at the post home, 801 Prospect Road.
Doors will open to the Sunday fund-raiser at noon. A fried chicken dinner will begin at 12:45 p.m. Bingo, including 32 paper games with cash prizes, follows at 2 p.m.