Mira Monte

“Teachers ‘Inspire’ Community Members to Design and Refurbish a New Teacher’s Lounge”


Mira Monte Principal Katherine White along with several teachers enjoy their newly refurbished teacher’s lounge designed and installed by volunteers from the Ojai Valley Baptist Church

        Teachers and staff at Mira Monte Elementary School have even more reason now to retreat to their Teacher’s Lounge during breaks at school.  That’s thanks to an elegant face lift the lounge received from members of the Ojai Valley Baptist Church who volunteered their time and materials to give the lounge a modern upgrade.

The project was part of the “Inspire” initiative - a movement started by Fawn Parish and her friends in 2015 to encourage residents, businesses and other community members to volunteer at any of the public schools in Ojai.  Since the initiative started, each school has a church that has donated everything from meals, to mentors, to in-class volunteers, and even new furniture, to help improve the quality of the educational experiences for teachers and students while at school.  And in the case of Mira Monte Elementary school, when church members asked how they could help, they were told about the state of the teacher’s lounge, and went to work.  “We heard there was a need, and we wanted to help,” said Debbie Marshall, with Ojai Valley Baptist Church.  “We had volunteers spend 100s of man hours to redesign and complete the new construction.  We hope to encourage other community members to go to the schools to see how they can help.  Particularly inside of the classroom.”

The refurbished lounge now includes new furniture, new paint and food carts.  Teachers almost liken the new space to a “spa” like atmosphere.  “It is quite a soothing environment when you come in here,” said Katherine White.  “If our teachers are not in class, you will find them in the lounge.”

Mira Monte is not the only school to receive a newly designed teacher’s lounge.  Topa Topa Elementary school also received a newly designed lounge thanks to First Baptist Church of Ojai last year.