The faculty lounge at Lake Highlands Junior High recently underwent an “Extreme Makeover” thanks to two dedicated volunteers and a collection of supportive businesses.
When PTA members Pam Dickey and Debbie Henton were searching for a project at the school, principal Lorine Burrell suggested fixing up the outdated lounge.
The room had plain white walls, an old couch and dated greenery.
“It just really needed a lot of work,” says Henton, who owns an interior design business. “Pam actually went out and got everything donated.”
Dickey recruited area businesses and groups to supply the needed materials.
David Holland of Holland Painting donated his time to paint the room using supplies contributed by Texas Wallpaper and Paint.
The Great Indoors gave the school flower arrangements, a sofa slipcover, throw pillows, a rug and table lamps.
The wall artwork and clocks were purchased with a contribution by the Lake Highlands Estates Neighborhood Association.
“These are the ones that make it happen, not Debbie or I,” Dickey says. “The merchants in our area are just so wonderful. They are so generous.”
Henton used her skills to put the room together.
“It really looks nice, and they are very happy with it,” she says.
The project serves as a “thank you” to the teachers who work with their children, Dickey says.
“The teachers are so important,” she says. “They deserved an inviting place to eat, visit or just rest.”
Dickey and Henton, both flight attendants, have worked together on school fundraising projects for seven years, Dickey says. Each has a daughter in the seventh grade at Lake Highlands.
Because it’s the first year for both women to have a child at the school, they felt it was important to become involved. Henton serves as the PTA’s teacher appreciation chairwoman, and Dickey is the fundraising chairwoman.
“I just feel like I need to be up there,” Henton says. “I just somehow fit it in. I enjoy doing it.”
Lake Highlands also received a $500 grant from the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance in November, thanks to Dickey’s outreach with community businesses. Bob King, who owns an ExxonMobil franchise at Northwest Highway and Ferndale, nominated the school, Dickey says.
Although she receives a lot of recognition for her volunteer work, Dickey says the attention might be skewed because her job involves the money.
“Sometimes when you get those dollar signs, it gets blown up,” she says. “There are so many wonderful women at that school that do wonderful things. There are a lot of great things going on.”