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CT High School Teacher wins California Casualty’s $7,500 School Lounge Makeover Contest


Plainville, CT, November 20, 2013. . . “This is a very stressful time in education as we adapt to new ‘Common Core Standards’”, said Debbie Seibert, English teacher at Plainville High School, in Plainville, CT. “This school lounge makeover will give us a much better place to de-stress, seek respite and bond together at our break-time.”

Seibert is the latest winner of the “School Lounge Makeover,” sponsored by California Casualty. Seibert’s name was picked from more than 40,000 entries from around the country.

Seibert taught for eight years before taking a 20-year hiatus to raise a family; she’s been back in the classroom for 15 years. She realizes, as she approaches the end of her career, that a spruced up lounge will be her legacy to future staff. In fact, Seibert says they have achieved a first for the California Casualty “School Lounge Makeover” – a lactation area for younger faculty members will be included in the plans.

Recognizing the lifelong impact of teachers and the current financial strain on public schools, California Casualty created the “School Lounge Makeover” contest in 2011. Several times each year, one randomly drawn winner receives a major transformation of the primary space at his or her school that teachers and staff can go to rejuvenate and recharge.

Seibert discovered the California Casualty “School Lounge Makeover” grant while reading her NEA Today publication. She didn’t think she’d win because, “Our lounge is not the most pathetic, but it is well used and a bit sterile.” Plans call for more surface space to eat, a desk and work area for a “floating instructor” (who has no permanent classroom) and more room for potlucks and crockpots.

A contestant must be an active employee of a K-12 public school or school administrator and a member of NEA or ACSA, COSA, NASA, KASE or OAESA. Should a school administrator win who does not work on a school campus, he/she will have the option of choosing the public school to receive the makeover. All members at the school may also enter, thus increasing their school’s chances of winning. Complete rules and entry forms are at

Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014. The company provides auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement, fire fighters and nurses in 44 states. Learn more at