Labay teacher surprised, is 1 of 3 classroom makeover winners

August 22, 2017

Labay Middle School teacher Jenna Bradford (center) is congratulated by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after it was announced Bradford was the surprise winner of a $500 classroom makeover. Bradford’s entry was submitted by Elizabeth Waltman, who looks on and went on stage to help unveil the surprise.
Labay Middle School teacher Jenna Bradford (center) is congratulated by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after it was announced Bradford was the surprise winner of a $500 classroom makeover. Bradford’s entry was submitted by Elizabeth Waltman, who looks on and went on stage to help unveil the surprise.

Aug. 22, 2017—Jenna Bradford had no idea why she was called up on stage alongside fellow Labay Middle School teacher Elizabeth Waltman on the final day of the Rigor, Relevance & Relationships Teacher Conference on Aug. 18 at the Berry Center.

Alternative Learning Center-West teacher Dana Rizzo (right) is presented with a $500 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she one of three winners for a classroom makeover.
Alternative Learning Center-West teacher Dana Rizzo (right) is presented with a $500 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she one of three winners for a classroom makeover.

There stood Bradford, a Life Skills teacher who spent much of her summer trying to plan and piece together an empty classroom she would inherit for the 2017-2018 school year. And seconds later, she learned she was one of three $500 winners in the Classroom Makeover contest put on by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union.

Bradford joined Dana Rizzo of Alternative Learning Center-West and Karen Comer of Lowery Elementary School. Three runner-up teachers each earned $150 for their classrooms: Ladye Lindsey of Cypress Woods High School, Jennifer Osina of Aragon Middle School and Karen Malone of Walker Elementary School.

Lowery Elementary School teacher Karen Comer (left) is presented with a $500 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she one of three winners for a classroom makeover.
Lowery Elementary School teacher Karen Comer (left) is presented with a $500 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she one of three winners for a classroom makeover.

All but Bradford knew of their winning prize beforehand, as each entered on their own. Waltman submitted an entry for Bradford and helped Cy-Fair FCU President/CEO Cameron Dickey surprise her on stage in front of hundreds of fellow teachers.

“I have an amazing team at Labay,” Bradford said. “Liz is amazing and everyone is amazing there, and the fact that they support me like that is a blessing. This whole summer, I’ve been thinking to myself, ‘Can I go to Ikea and buy furniture? How can I make this work?’

Aragon Middle School teacher Jennifer Osina (left) is presented with a $150 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she was a runner-up for a classroom makeover.
Aragon Middle School teacher Jennifer Osina (left) is presented with a $150 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she was a runner-up for a classroom makeover.

“So I’ve been making tons of curriculum and then trying to figure out how I’m going to organize a classroom.”

In its 10th year, the classroom makeover program has awarded $15,200 to teachers and expanded beyond just two or three winners.

Walker Elementary School teacher Karen Malone (left) is presented with a $150 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she was a runner-up for a classroom makeover.
Walker Elementary School teacher Karen Malone (left) is presented with a $150 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she was a runner-up for a classroom makeover.

Cypress Woods High School teacher Ladye Lindsey (left) is presented with a $150 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she was a runner-up for a classroom makeover.
Cypress Woods High School teacher Ladye Lindsey (left) is presented with a $150 prize by Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union President/CEO Cameron Dickey after she was a runner-up for a classroom makeover.

“To be able to not only help these hard-working teachers who want to do something for the classroom and make it more educational and more at-home for them was already fun,” Dickey said. “But to be able to surprise somebody – that was awesome.”

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