Making A Difference: Retired educators transforming classrooms across the state

Posted at 12:21 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 12:21:46-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After nearly 60 years combined of public school experience, it is safe to say that Karen Haskins and Patricia Hughes know their way around a classroom.

"Our love of teachers and kids is what brought us here," said Haskins, a retired principal.

Both now retired and knowing the demands put on teachers daily, they have decided to help ease the load.

"We just felt like we wanted to do something to help give back to teachers, and we know how hard they work," Haskins explained.

The pair created "Designing Classrooms," where they identify teachers in need across Kentucky and transform their classrooms into the perfect spaces to teach and learn.

"It's just like you want your home to be a comfortable place, you want that classroom to be that inviting environment," said Hughes, a former educator.

Kindergarten teacher Mindy Stidham said she is touched by the new project. She said it is the type of thing any teacher new or old would benefit from.

"It's that warm heat feeling, the warm and fuzzies you feel," said Stidham. "Just knowing that they're giving their time to come in and make teachers young and old feel like your job is important."

Designing Classrooms will take input from teachers, but they will also add in some surprises using their creativity and experience.

Everything is done in order to free up the teachers to focus on their kids and, in the end, that's what it is all about.

"It's something that's just very invigorating to know that we are able to give back and help teachers," said Hughes.

"We just want to make a difference one classroom at a time," said Haskins.

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