Grand Lake teachers to get lounge, courtesy of parents |

Grand Lake teachers to get lounge, courtesy of parents

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado
Jim Debevec parent and owner of Debevec Professional Services, Grand Lake, starts in on cabinet carpentry work at the teacher's lounge at Grand Lake Elementary School.

Where energy is usually focused on youth, this time it’s on the teachers.

A parents group is breathing new life into a teacher’s room at Grand Lake Elementary School.

Mostly through the work of volunteers and from community donations, a combined kitchen-workroom at the administration end of the school is due to become more of a “retreat” for school staff, said Parent Advisory Committee Chair Schelly Olson.

“We want to present to them this really nice warm room where they can have their staff meetings or relax, or have their lunch,” Olson said.

In celebration of May 5 National Teacher’s Appreciation Day each year, the PAC usually caters a lunch for the teachers.

But this year, Olson said, they decided to make a more significant contribution.

“We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to give these teachers who we love so much a gift that will last for years to come,” Olson said.

The PAC needs only to buy a few supplies for job, whereas the bulk of the project is being made possible from the help of parents and other volunteers.

Jim Debevec, whose daughter attends the school, is in charge of cabinet work. Another parent Keith Lawson is hooking up the first teachers-lounge dishwasher, donated by Principal Phyllis Price. The Olsons donated a new kitchen faucet, and other parents such as Chris Tarr and Kevin Cox will assist in painting the space.

Other community members such as electrician Jason Allen, Peter “The Painter” Esmonde, and janitor Ted Bettray have offered to donate help to the remodel.

To allow for a room with fewer interruptions, laminating and binding machines as well as other work materials will be located in a proper copy workroom next door, Olson said.

To accommodate the new copy workroom, Price volunteered to occupy a different office space down the hall.

PAC members hope to unveil the new lounge in time for the May 5 Teacher’s Appreciation Day.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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