The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Teachers Enjoy New Lounge

After a long awaited renovation, Gables staff and teachers are introduced to a new haven on campus
Laura Ridoux
At the long awaited inauguration of the teachers’ lounge, former PTSA president Bill Beardslee thanked all the sponsors in attendance.

From dark, vacant and outdated to luminous, busy and modern, Coral Gables Senior High’s teachers’ lounge has been revamped this past summer. With ideas planted over two and a half years ago, the final product was revealed on Aug. 14, where many “wows” and applauses were heard from both faculty and teachers. The Parent Teacher Student Association took on this project with the unique goal of making the lounge a welcoming warm place for teachers to relax and destress.

Every year, the PTSA is in charge of coming up with a proposal that can improve an aspect at Gables, whether in appearance or functionality. Proposed changes were bringing shade to the student courtyard and redoing the main entrance, but none resonated as much as renovating the teachers’ lounge. Tracy-Devine Guzman, former PTSA Vice President of Administration, took charge by surveying teachers and presenting the results to the board for approval.

“I knew that the lounge was in a state of disrepair, and I had learned through the PTSA that it was not included in the millions of dollars of improvements that had been planned for the school. I had heard some folks around school express the idea that the lounge “was not really that bad,” and also that the teachers “probably would not use it” even it it were in better condition. I suspected that both of those positions were inaccurate, and I knew that the best way to find out what the teachers thought was to ask them,” Ms. Devine-Guzman said.

After brainstorming the timeline of events in May 2022, the PTSA board approved a budget and began fundraising. With Give Miami Day, a region-wide philanthropic event where donations are made to local organizations, all proceeds made were dedicated to the lounge, which was about $10,000 total. To further help alleviate the costs, the Gables Class of 1972, along with Friends of Gables High members, such as 2021 Hall of Fame Inductee Stuart Grossman among others, contributed to making this project a reality.

“Funding was initially a blockage. By mid-December [2022], we only had about $10,000 committed to this project and again, that is a fraction of what it cost. Once we got the plans in place, we were able to show people what it would become and we also had pictures of the old teachers’ lounge, giving that visual appeal. From there on, we just got more donations,” former PTSA president Bill Beardslee said.

Passing the financial barrier, contractors came into the building to discuss all the material needed; meanwhile, the architect and Mr. Beardslee discussed the interior design of the lounge. After two months of tearing down old walls and rebuilding, the lounge became unrecognizable, the transformation was beyond the original expectations set.

“I was very impressed by the unique way that the architect designed and did this new layout. I would have never thought to separate the copier from the lounge area and I think that was brilliant. Looking at the teacher’s lounge the way it was [back in 1996], it was so sad that I just couldn’t imagine it ever being good. I was amazed by the ideas of how to separate and organize the space; it was beyond what I expected,” Gables Alum and teacher Ms. Noval said.

A few days before the start of school, the teachers’ lounge was officially inaugurated, with teachers, staff, sponsors and PTSA board members in attendance. Mr. Beardslee quickly described the process and thanked the generous donors, followed by Principal Ullivarri who presented a few concluding remarks.

After surveying teachers for feedback, a phase two will debut to touch up on details such as lighting, decorative features and additional furniture. The lounge will then be fully operational for teachers, whether used in a social setting or just as a quiet place to work.

“I feel extremely happy, I feel extremely proud and I feel very very good about what this does for the teachers. I hope they use it, I hope they enjoy it and I hope it gives them a little sense of appreciation for what they do,” Mr. Beardslee said.

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About the Contributor
Laura Ridoux
Laura Ridoux, CavsConnect Co-Editor-in-Chief
Laura Ridoux is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program. This is her third year in CavsConnect and she is very excited to return as co-editor-in-chief to lead her staff into her last year of high school, with plans to make it the most memorable one yet. At Coral Gables Senior High, Laura is quite involved, being on the board of multiple clubs including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society, National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America, while serving as Treasurer for the Class of 2024. She never backs down from a challenge and is always looking to learn something new. Outside of school, Laura loves to travel, meet people from different backgrounds and take pictures with her Canon EOS Rebel T7. Overall, she is thrilled for this upcoming year and cannot wait to see what lies ahead for her.
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