The revamped Gympie Special School staffroom, after the school won a $30,000 upgrade.
The revamped Gympie Special School staffroom, after the school won a $30,000 upgrade. Craig Warhurst

Staffroom makeover proves spirit

IT’S been almost 12 months since community spirit led Gympie Special School to a $30,000 ultimate staffroom makeover.

The upgrade was made possible through winning a Queensland Teachers’ Credit Union (QTCU) Staffroom for Improvement competition.

QTCU chief executive officer Mike Murphy said this year’s competition was an opportunity for other school communities to get behind their teachers to show them they care.

“It was so inspiring last year to see just how much community spirit there was across Queensland schools.

“Teachers are often the unsung heroes in our society, so this is a terrific chance for students, parents and members of the community to recognise the vital role teachers play every day.”

Gympie Special School principal Barry Tarlinton said it’s one year on and staff are still delighted in their staffroom.

“I think beyond the aesthetics, the makeover has lifted everyone’s sense of feeling valued,” Mr Tarlinton said.

“Everyone needs a pat on the back now and then, and when you get so much support from others, it really does raise you up.”

“We were excited to be the winners, but even more excited that people thought well enough about what we do to get behind us.”

Last year more than 40,000 Queenslanders across almost 1100 schools threw support behind their local schools, but it was Gympie Special School, with just 51 students, who took out the major prize.

“Obviously if you win there are potential gains across the entire culture of the school – a staff whose wellbeing is better catered for will perform at a higher level in the workplace,” Mr Tarlinton said.

Competition voting closes on Friday October 22, with the 2010 Staffroom for Improvement winner to be announced on World Teachers Day, Friday October 29.

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