SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A Seminole County teacher is starting the school year with a newly-designed classroom, thanks to Addition Financial's Renovate to Educate Program.
Krista Phelps teaches deaf and hard of hearing students at Altamonte Elementary. In May, News 6 spoke with Phelps as she began the design process. Seminole State College interior design student Acede Clark would be the one to bring her ideas to life.
This week, Phelps and her students saw the finished product: a 21st century-robot design.
Phelps and Clark walked into the classroom arm-in-arm for the reveal.
"I kinda think my mind just stopped. I didn't know what to expect but I did not expect this," Phelps said.
Because Phelps teaches hearing-impaired students, she had some very specific requests for her room, including a visual-alert system. She also wanted desks in a semi-circle design so the students can easily see each other.
"I wanted something that the kids would be really comfortable [with]. We could sit and chat and have important conversations. I love that," Phelps said.
Phelps said Clark went beyond her request and added a lot of personalized touches.
"She went and found my 'I love you' hand and put it up,” she said about the decor. “I mean Acede did some really nice things that were just for me and it was fabulous. It meant a lot to me.”
Clark is expected to graduate in December and received college credit for the classroom design.
"It was just great to get this experience with a real life project with my name on it for an elementary school. How cool is that?" she said.
Addition Financial renovated four Central Florida classrooms this summer.