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Angels In Our Midst (Catherine Penzone)
After almost 30 years, a Pensacola woman still cherishes the gift of knowledge and sense of community she received from her first teachers. Recently, she returned to the halls of her elementary school bearing her own gifts...Gifts from An Angel In Our Midst. Voice of Michelle Pinney; Long laminate table, white walls, blue plastic chairs. It was horrendous. Voice of Mershun Deas; It was kind of, you know, like a place where you probably didn't want to come in and sit. Voice of Edwinna Williams; It was the same rattan set that my mother had purchased in 1965. As dismal as it was, every staff member at myrtle grove elementary school will tell you that they have far bigger priorities and a facelift for the staff lounge was nowhere on the radar screen. Well, not on theirs... Michelle; We had an angel come upon us...Catherine Penzone. Voice of Catherine Penzone; Started here in first grade and stayed here through 5th grade. It's a sweet, sweet school and I have wonderful memories of being here. Catherine Penzone is now a stay-at-home mom with four young sons who don't go to school here. Still, when she heard about the condition of the lounge, she came back. Edwinna Williams, Myrtle Grove Elementary Principal; One day a truck pulled up and so many chairs came out and the next time two tables came and then there were two couches that came... Catherine Penzone, A Designing Angel; I spent a couple of months gathering things. It is not like I had a huge budget but I also wanted things that were going to last. Once Catherine made all of her finds, she recruited a few troops from the navy and began her weekend mission making the colors warm and peaceful. Catherine; It's warm and peaceful. Michelle Pinney, Myrtle Grove Elementary Secretary; It was a two day ordeal; extreme makeover. Two days, all day. When the teachers came back, they were elated. It was a wonderful surprise for them. Mershun Deas, K-3 Teacher; It's a very relaxing atmosphere for you to come in to continue to make your plans for the next day or the next week and just socialize with your co-workers. Ms. Williams; I said, Well, does she, uh, should we, uh, How are we going to fund this. I'm thinking, fundraiser. I'm thinking, can we do a fundraiser for that. Catherine; Which was one reason I was looking for the great furniture finds. Williams; She has charged us not one penny for anything. To Catherine Penzone's mind, the school has already paid her. Catherine; I came from this community and there are plenty of kids who are going to come from this community and have wonderful, wonderful lives. And it's because of what these teachers do every single day. Ms. Williams; In her own way, she just brought all that appreciation into one room and set it up for them.