Border Star Teacher’s Lounge Renovation

By March 18, 2024 March 30th, 2024 No Comments

Good schools create an atmosphere that encourages mutual support, caring, and a sense of community. Border Star Montessori does just that while acting as an integral part of the Brookside community. In 1873, a school was built at the site of the present- day Border Star. In 1924, the cornerstone was laid for a new, modern building, and the northeast wing was completed. One hundred years later, there is an opportunity to transform the out-of-date classroom currently being used as a makeshift teacher’s lounge into a staff-only oasis.

In August, PrincipalsConnect met with Stacia Deckard, Border Star Principal, to learn about her key priorities for the 2023/2024 school year. She shared her desire to create a “Community in Joy” with students and staff and to extend that to the neighborhood with parents and the Brookside community. During a tour of the building, PrincipalsConnect identified an opportunity to add joy to the school by focusing on the teacher’s lounge.

Why? Because teachers deserve it! Even students agree!
“Because they need to be comfortable as they eat” – Rosalyn, Student
“They deserve it! They work hard every day” – Mona, Student
“And they have to deal with children every school week. And it’s probably tiring” – Dia, Student

After understanding the need at Border Star Montessori, Carol Hallquist, Founder of PrincipalsConnect, reached out to local designer and activist Jennifer Bertrand. Bertrand is best known as the winner of HGTV’s ‘Design Star’, which drew over five million viewers to her no-nonsense, accessible approach to making positive and impactful design changes without breaking the bank. After taking the competition by storm, Bertrand moved on to host ‘Paint Over!’, featuring families in transition and in desperate need of help. She also leads designs for Lifetime’s Military Makeover and creates positive spaces for Ronald McDonald houses across the US.As a former educator, Bertrand was excited about the opportunity to work with PrincipalsConnect, Principal Deckard, and the local community.

The last missing link was an organization to make these dreams come true. JE Dunn Construction agreed to partner on the project. Their generous impact will include a team onsite implementing Bertrand’s vision, several volunteers every day to help with tasks, like putting together furniture and painting, as well as acting as the connection point to other generous organizations across Kansas City. With JE Dunn and Border Star both celebrating 100 years, it was the perfect match.

The team is excited to reimagine this space while honoring the hard work of the entire staff who are there every day to create a sense of belonging, a caring environment, and a space to learn for “Our Kids.”

Click here to watch KSHB’s coverage of before the renovation.