Three teachers win classroom makeovers from CFFCU

August 28, 2015


Hamilton Middle School teacher Joan Pearson, third from left, accepts her $500 prize from the Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union Middle School Extreme Makeover – Classroom Edition contest. Also pictured (L-R) are Valarie Brittain, CFFCU vice president of human resources; Alice Wimberly, CFFCU chairman of the board; and Cameron Dickey, CFFCU president and CEO.

Aug. 28, 2015—Three CFISD teachers were recently named winners in the Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union (CFFCU) ninth annual Extreme Classroom Makeover Essay Contest.

In the contest, teachers from all grade levels submitted essays explaining why they were most deserving of the $500 grand prize to help them create an ideal learning environment for their students.

The winners are Elisa Rea from Jowell Elementary School, Joan Pearson from Hamilton Middle School and Sandra Windham from Cypress Creek High School.

The teachers received their prize money at the Cy-Fair FCU’s Jones Road Branch on Aug. 14. President and CEO Cameron Dickey, Chairman of the Board Alice Wimberly and Vice President of Human Resources Valarie Brittain, who oversees the Community Advisory Committee, were on hand to congratulate the winners.

Rea, a prekindergarten teacher at Jowell, used the funds to purchase a bright and inviting carpet with colorful squares for each student to sit in. She also installed a new carpet in her block center with neighborhood scenery, city roads and highways, and installed supply cubbies to hold literacy materials and other school supplies.

“I am so grateful to Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union for providing this award,” Rea said. “Their generosity has made the classroom a brighter place for our students.”

Pearson, a sixth-grade language arts and reading teacher, transformed her classroom into a “writing press club” with high-interest books in the classroom library, reading incentives, motivational posters, reading lamps and new book shelving and baskets, as well as a plentiful and organized toolbox of writing equipment and organizers.

“I was incredibly excited to learn I had won the middle school classroom makeover contest,” Pearson said. “I feel incredibly honored and appreciative knowing my classroom environment is enhancing learning, helping our students transition smoothly to middle school and afforded me an opportunity to give to future students as well. I am extremely grateful Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union has partnered with our community and values our teachers.”


Cypress Creek High School teacher Sandra Windham, second from left, accepts her CFFCU Extreme Makeover – Classroom Edition contest winnings from (L-R) Alice Wimberly, CFFCU chairman of the board; Cameron Dickey, CFFCU president and CEO; and Valarie Brittain, CFFCU vice president of human resources.

Windham, a READ 180 and dyslexia teacher at Cypress Creek, is using the money to create an environment where her readers will feel comfortable sitting down with a good book. She purchased several high-interest books and filled bookshelves with novels, magazine and nonfiction reading material.

“My students love the many book choices they have and the comfortable, homey atmosphere,” Windham said. “There is nothing better than seeing students engaged and captivated by the feeling they get from a good book, especially those who have struggled with reading their whole lives. This brings to mind a favorite quote from Margaret Fuller, ‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.’


Jowell Elementary School teacher Elisa Rea accepts a $500 prize from CFFCU president and CEO Cameron Dickey for the CFFCU Extreme Makeover – Classroom Edition. 

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