A Fayetteville school psychologist specialist received new office furniture Tuesday after winning a district contest.
Jennifer Shreve’s office went from 1970s leftovers to brand new furniture from Preferred Office Products. Shreve also won supplies from Sam’s Club. She was among numerous entries for the prize which was announced during the Teacher Expo in August.
Shreve entered the Preferred Workspace Makeover contest sponsored by Preferred Office Products, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and The City Wire. Teachers were asked to share why their space needed a makeover; The City Wire staff narrowed the choices down to five and the ultimate selection was made by Preferred Office owners Joe and Kevin Dickinson.
“This is beautiful office furniture. It is like a dream come true,” Shreve said Tuesday.
She started her work with students back in 1989 in California. In 23 years working with students in various school districts, she’s never won a contest.
“It’s incredible because I’ve always gotten castoffs because I’m not a teacher. I’m a school psychologist,” she explained.
Shreve said teachers deserve the newest and best but because of budget constraints jobs like hers aren’t considered for things like new equipment.
“It was kind of embarrassing. It (furniture) was mismatched. I had a metal table that a leg had been bent. My file drawer didn’t keep the files up and I had to use three metal bookends to keep the files up. It was a constant thing,” Shreve said.
Tales like those were just part of what Shreve submitted in a 200-word letter to the district to win this makeover. But for Shreve this makeover wasn’t just about furniture. In the last year, her life has been made-over as well.
Shreve has been battling breast cancer in the last year. She has undergone 29 chemotherapies and five surgeries with the most intensive being reconstruction.
“I feel like I’ve stepped over the finish line,” said Shreve. “It’s kind of like it never happened but not quite.” While tears fell from her eyes, she added: “It’s been an emotional year.”
Shreve was touched by the outpouring of support as the workers from Preferred Office Supply loaded her furniture into her room.
“It’s a week of Cinderella outcomes,” Shreve said.
Not only for the makeover, but Monday she received good news from her doctor. He has released her from medical treatment for the next six months.
“It’s funny the way these things have come together. Winning the office makeover, coming back from cancer and having an assignment changed to having a home base,” she said.
Shreve works with Root Elementary students and travels to private schools within the Fayetteville district. She will travel to multiple sites evaluating students for special education but her home base will be Root Elementary.
“I will now feel confident with organization in the room and it will help me do my job efficiently.”
While she’s receiving attention for the new-look of her office she’s got work to do. Her goal is to come up with recommendations to have children learn better and be successful in life.
“I’ve got three students to test tomorrow. I’ve got to keep going.”