Varsity Prep Inspiration: This is my husband’s office. He is a principal at a Catholic school in my hometown. Our story is a long one, however, the inspiration for this room…not so much. He loves sports. Period. I was hoping he would do something fun and crazy, but that’s not his personality. While we were brainstorming ideas about how he could decorate his office…he only wanted one thing…sports. I kept my plans secret from him all summer long. It was so hard not to tell him what I had up my sleeve, but I really wanted him to be surprised. I spent the summer on Ebay and searching for the details of the room that would make his new home very special.
I want to tell you our story, however, it’s long. If you have time, I would love for you to read it! If you are short on time, you might want to scroll down to look at the “BEFORE” and “AFTER” photos, then come back later.
Our Story… I met my husband at school almost 10 years ago. I transferred to a new elementary school in our district and he was hired as the new PE teacher. When I met him, I certainly didn’t feel any sparks. I thought he was nice…that’s it (he did have big muscle arms that I sort of liked, but I would never tell him that! Ha!). One thing I did know…he was an AMAZING teacher. He had so much energy and was so dynamic! I had been teaching for several years and I never witnessed a teacher of his caliber. Not only was he one of the best teachers I’ve ever observed in my career, the kids adored him. He was kind, compassionate, and had high expectations for the students. He was very much a leader in our school and respected by all.
At the time, I was getting my Education Specialist degree in Administration. I knew instantly that he should follow the same career path. Without a doubt, he would be the kind of principal that would leave a legacy…one that went down in the books for all of the wonderful things he did for children and his staff. I spent many hours talking to him about his future. After awhile, he finally agreed to pursue an Administration degree as well.
Fast forward to a few years later…We are married and have two beautiful children together. He finished his degree and was working as the Interim Principal throughout our district. Everywhere he went, I was right…the staff and students loved him. He also had the position as our district’s Summer School Principal and did an amazing job transforming a tired program into a purposeful, innovative program for struggling students, while also creating an enrichment program for those students that needed to be challenged. He worked tirelessly and people knew it. His life became very focused on becoming the best educator and leader he could possibly be. I was (and still am), so incredibly proud of him!
Becoming a full-time principal became his passion and his dream. He started to apply for principal positions, but found it very difficult to even get an interview. People were looking for experience. In Michigan, it is very rare to have Assistant Principal positions at the elementary level, so the only positions that were being posted, were for candidates that had at least five years of experience as a building principal. The question kept coming up,”How do you get experience without somebody giving you a chance?” In true Matt fashion, he exhausted every effort in finding a position. After some interviews and being the runner-up for each one(they always chose the candidate with experience or someone internally), we decided that we would move anywhere a job became available…even if it meant leaving the state. Matt was getting extemely discouraged and questioned whether this was the right path for him. I can’t tell you how many times people would tell us, “God has the perfect plan for Matt.” This would always give us hope.
Last year, about this time, our friend offered Matt a job in the insurance business. It would pay so much more than he was currently making and there were so many perks and benefits to this job…Matt and I actually considered it. Although the job sounded fantastic, Matt told me over and over that he wasn’t ready to give up his dream…he wanted to try one last time for a principal position. We made the decision that if it didn’t happen for him over the summer, he would pursue a different career and chalk it up to “it wasn’t meant to be.”
A few days after our conversation, I noticed a principal posting for the elementary school that I had gone to as a child. Without Matt knowing, I had watched and watched this school, hoping that someday the principal position would open up. The day it was posted, I SAW IT…I couldn’t believe my eyes! I can remember running to Matt and showing him the posting. Right then and there…I knew. He applied for the position right away.
Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next? HE GOT THE JOB!
Matt and I were committed to the job AND the school. We made the decision to move back to my hometown the day he got the news. I couldn’t believe it…I WAS MOVING HOME! I had always wanted to go back, but never EVER thought it would be possible. I hadn’t been back to that school and my hometown in years. I drove Matt by my old house several years ago, just so he could see where I grew up, but that’s it. He didn’t know a thing about the town we were about to move to. We bought a house that same week and I opened up the new Schoolgirl Style Shop in town.
I can’t tell you how strange it feels to be back (I’ve been gone for 25 years), but in a good way. It’s such a small town and it seems like no one has ever left. I go to the grocery store and it always feels like a class reunion! My husband is now the principal to the children of my former classmates (how weird is that?). My own children are walking the same halls that I did when I was their age. It feels SO good to be home.
to add to all of the craziness…I’m teaching there too. What?!? Due to a very strange twist of fate, I am teaching Kindergarten. I often ask myself how all of this happened. How did I end up back home? How did I end up teaching again? How did we end up at this school? We were prepared to move anywhere. Out of all the places that we could have gone, our search brought me back to my roots.
I often ask myself all of these questions, but deep down, I DO know the answer…and it’s so obvious….God DID have the perfect plan. I truly feel like my husband and I are at that school for a reason. Not sure what that reason is yet…only time will tell. Right now, we are enjoying our new life!
MATT’S OFFICE…”BEFORE” PICTURES
This is how Matt’s office looked when he was first hired. Ummmm….
oh, and it keeps getting better…
gotta love the baby blue walls…(I’m joking.)
Matt knew right away that he didn’t want his back facing the door, so we turned the desk around. As we pulled out the desk, we found a nice collection of finger nails…probably hundreds.
*I’m gagging just trying to write that.
I’m waiting for the emails to come pouring in telling me how horrible I am for eating McDonalds (people DO do this). Yes, we do eat McDonalds sometimes…
The one piece of paper taped to the wall is the best…
I’m pretty sure we entered “binder world.” Every corner and crevice had a boatload of binders. I had to think of a way to tackle this issue.
As you can see, I had my work cut out for me. Right away, my graphic designer and I started planning our vintage inspired sports theme. When she sent me the proofs, I had to laugh…she used Chris Soules’ (from the Bachelor) shirt as inspiration for one of the prints in the collection! My graphic designer is a girl after my own heart! What other classroom decor company uses The Bachelor as inspiration! I love it!
Makeover Day! Matt had a meeting for the whole day, so my mom, dad, my cousin, and I went to work to transform his space!
MATT’S OFFICE…”AFTER PICTURES”
GOODBYE BABY BLUE WALLS!
I had everything painted a warm khaki color….it’s called “Latte” by Sherwin Williams. This color would work nicely with the existing cherry furniture and blue carpet.
My FAVORITE part of this whole makeover…LOCKERS! I purchased the set of lockers through an online auction. I think I paid about $100 for the set. They were pretty rusty when we got them. My dad cleaned them up for me and painted them this nice blue color to coordinate with the room. Matt didn’t have any place to hang his coat, so this was perfect. He also has it filled with lots of snacks, since he rarely takes a lunch.
This is the other part of the room that I LOVE!
Matt’s dad passed away several years ago. He was also a teacher. We also found out that he interviewed several times to become a principal, but it never happened for him. I am sure he is so proud of Matt right now.
Matt’s dad played college football at Marshall. I asked Matt’s mom if she had any pictures of him playing football…she didn’t. One night, I searched the internet for HOURS hoping that I could find just ONE picture to surprise Matt with. After several failed attempts, it happened…I found it! Matt’s dad is #83. I ordered the picture and had it framed in a vintage inspired frame with a leather matte around it. You can imagine Matt’s surprise when he saw this! I know that it brings him comfort to have his dad with him.
The picture below is of Matt. Matt played college football too. I’m looking forward to our daughter’s having these pictures some day.
I found these vintage wire gym baskets on Ebay.
My graphic designer created these vintage looking collegiate letters to go with the collection. These are great for bulletin boards!
The antique picture on the bottom right hand corner is his favorite team…Notre Dame. I found this on Ebay and had it framed to match the other pictures in his office.
This collection comes with severeal sports cutouts! I taped them to wooden skewers to make a nice centerpiece for the table in his room.
The blue wire baskets come from The Land of Nod.
I found some old pom poms in a closet and used them to decorate the room. I also personalized the football helmets with Matt’s college number…28.
I used coordinating binder spines to make the shelves look more attractive. Some of the binders were so old, I couldn’t get the spine inside the protective coating. I ended up hot gluing each one on instead. It made the job so much easier!
I attached magnets to the cutouts, so they would stick on the lockers and file cabinets.
I used the top of the bookcases to display Matt’s trophies, his college football helmet, his football when he got the rushing record at his high school, and a college football program (he’s on the cover). The metal “R” came from http://www.landofnod.com.
I also had his degrees framed and displayed them over his desk. The frames were from Hobby Lobby.
I used coordinating paper to cover cans…
I created a pennant banner that looks perfect in this vintage inspired sports room!
Needless to say, Matt was thrilled when he saw his office for the first time! It was fun watching all of the people file in and out of his office to see the makeover. I know that Matt is very proud of his new space…he’s actually kept it clean!
I think this is great inspiration for a man’s space OR a school principal! Decorating isn’t just for the classroom, it can look AMAZING in any office environment as well!
* Photos courtesty of E.C. Campbell Photography in Clarkston, Michigan
I created this collection in THREE color combinations:
*Photo collage pictures courtesy of Anna Rello Photo in Waterford, Michigan
Have you checked out our coordinating planners yet?
To learn more about April’s planner, click on the video below…
Would you like to win the the entire “Varsity Prep” Collection? This is a seriously AWESOME giveaway, so make sure to enter!
You could win:
1. The “Varsity Prep” digital collection from Schoolgirl Style
2. A roll of coordinating paper from Pacon
3. 2 rolls of Bordette from Pacon
4. Six poms/lanterns of your choice from Schoolgirl Style
5. The “Varsity Prep” coordinating planner from A Modern Teacher
To enter, follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below! Winners will be announced on April 29th! Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway