Wheeler Elementary teacher’s lounge

Vote for one of the contest finalists: Wheeler Elementary, Lowe Elementary or Jeffersontown High School

Monique Thornock has made it her mission to make sure teachers don’t get forgotten.

Back by popular demand: The fourth annual Ultimate Teacher’s Lounge contest! Thornock, the Design Manager at Furniture Fair, says Class Act Federal Credit Union was the first to sponsor Ultimate Teacher’s Lounge contest, but now in its fourth year, several more sponsors have signed on.

“We noticed a lot of teachers would spend their breaks and lunches in their rooms or a borrowed space when their classroom was being used,” she said. “They were in dire shape. They had not been touched, refurbished or updated since the 1970s. I want to make sure every penny we get goes to education. The teacher’s lounge is one of those things that gets forgotten about but makes a big impact for teachers,” Thornock said.

Lowe Elementary teacher’s lounge

For the contest, the community nominates their favorite and deserving schools to win the teacher’s lounge makeover. Last year’s call for nominations garnered more than 300 video and/or photo submissions from schools all over Kentuckiana. A three-person committee of judges then consider criteria such as the number of nominations each school got, their stories of why they desired it, and the photos of the current lounges.

Once finalists are selected, their photos and videos are displayed at ultimateteacherslounge.com and the community votes for the winner. Unlike other types of elections, voting more than once for your favorite school is encouraged. The contest partners with sponsors who help with in-kind or other assistance. Class Act FCU, Furniture Fair, Radio station 106.9 PLAY and other Summit Media radio stations, and WAVE-TV all promote on television and social media to help spread the word.

Jeffersontown High School teacher’s lounge

The 2017 contest winner, Ballard High School, submitted a satirical video featuring the clothes, culture and furnishings of the 70s that showcased their sadly outdated teacher’s lounge. The teacher’s lounge makeover transformation is done during the school winter break and unveiled when teachers return to class in the new year. Kristina Greer, a teacher at Ballard for ten years, called their remodeled lounge a huge improvement. “Before, the space was uninviting and drab. Now it’s gorgeous, comfortable and functional with all new appliances,” said Greer. “There were a lot of ‘wows’ from the teachers at the remarkable teacher’s lounge transformation.”

The furniture for the lounge makeover will be donated from Furniture Fair. If you would like to help by donating your services or product, please contact [email protected]com. At present, cabinets, flooring and appliances are the top priority. “If we raise enough, we can give the other finalists something even if they don’t win,” she said.

Thornock said they had launched a similar makeover program when she worked in the Pacific Northwest. “We felt it was a perfect way to thank our teachers in Kentuckiana,” she said.

Class Act Federal Credit Union
Class Act Federal Credit Union was established by a small group of JCPS teachers in 1954 to serve the personal finance needs of JCPS teachers and other school employees. At that time, teachers had very limited access to loans or credit of any kind. The credit union filled this need and did so at very competitive rates. Other area school districts expressed interest, and within a few short years, the credit union was serving all public school employees in the Metro Louisville area as well as employees from a good number of private schools. In 1994, Class Act’s field of membership was expanded to include the University of Louisville by way of a merger with the University of Louisville Student & Alumni Credit Union.