Marshall Middle Magnet School’s transformation isn’t only about what’s happening in the classrooms.
The school staff is serious about making sure virtually every aspect of the Marshall experience is improved as it heads toward a new life as Plant City’s third IB school. That means making physical improvements everyone who sets foot on campus or even drives by it can see.
Two of those improvements to the school were unveiled Tuesday afternoon and are strictly for the teachers. Marshall’s learning lab and teachers’ lounge areas have been remodeled and upgraded in a process that took nearly 500 man hours to complete. The project was funded and created by City Pointe Church. Ellen Lynch, the church’s administrative assistant, designed the areas. City Pointe linked up with MTZ Paint & Home Repair and Larry Bauer Handyman Service to make the visions into realities. They took care of everything so Marshall wouldn’t have to.
“I love churches that make a practical difference,” Pastor Scott McIntosh said Tuesday. “So many churches, their very best is inside the church. But I think when the Lord looks at the church, He looks for your very best to be outside the church and in the community. That’s why we’re so honored to partner with you guys.”
The learning lab, which is a space teachers can use for lesson planning purposes, is now a much more inviting space with new furniture, decor and amenities, motivational posters and plenty of coffee to keep the teachers going, a pair of rocking massage chairs in front of an electronic fireplace and a device charging station. The teachers’ lounge got a fresh coat of paint, tables, coffee stations, banners and posters, a recycling bin, decor and touches of ambiance that make it a warmer, more homey space than it was.
“This is gonna be the year when stress is the highest for teachers, so it’s the perfect time to come in and be a part of this,” McIntosh said. “We know that our teachers matter. It’s stressful. And the better they do, the better we all do.”
Marshall and City Pointe are no strangers to working with each other, as the church often helps out giving away school supplies to students, creating “blessing boxes” for faculty, donating meals and more when it can. The church tackles an end-of-year project annually and this became its latest effort. In February, City Pointe donated $5,000 that it raised to Marshall for the project.
“So many times, a lot of the faculty is overlooked in a lot of different events that go on in schools,” teacher Stanley Glover said. “To go ahead and show, ‘Hey, we care about you, too. We want to uplift you,’ when the teachers come back and see some change, it makes a huge difference. We feel like, ‘I am appreciated. I am loved.’”
The church oversaw the redesign process and got to work after the school approved everything. On Tuesday, a handful of faculty members came out to get the first look at the new and improved teachers’ spaces and loved what they saw.
McIntosh said a time-lapse video of the 500-hour process will be posted to City Pointe’s social media accounts next week for anyone who wants to watch.
“Everyone that I ran into was smiling and chipper, the kids that you had out here working and your family, it’s a real labor of love and you can tell it was something they enjoyed doing,” principal Dennis Mayo said.
Marshall’s IB staff planned to team up with those from Lincoln Elementary and Strawberry Crest High, along with other organizations in Marshall and around the community, to do some “beautification” work outside this Saturday but have postponed them as a precaution for possible bad weather stemming from Tropical Storm Isaias.