Gillette teachers paint colorful ceiling tiles to inspire students

Gillette Elementary School students were welcomed with a colorful surprise on the first day of school.

The school entrance was filled with eye-catching ceiling tiles – each one personally painted by a teacher with an inspirational message.

“Every teacher in our campus did one or more tiles. Our teachers are very artistic and creative,” Gillette Elementary Academic Dean Julia Gimbel said. “Any opportunity that is given to decorate, create and use their artistic abilities, they will go above and beyond. Our students are amazed when our teachers do these little things to inspire them.”

Students can read the inspiring messages as they walk through the hallways or right before they walk into class, and some are even written in Spanish!

When science teacher Monica Zapata first learned of the idea, she was quickly on board and painted four impressive ceiling tiles. Her favorite one reads: “You Matter.”

“Students come here every single day, and sometimes we are the only stability that they have,” Zapata said. “We need to let them know that when they come here, they matter.”

Students and parents expressed their joy when seeing the tiles for the first time.

“My kids were in awe. They came in here and were like ‘Ms. Zapata! It looks so cool, who did that?’ What I love about them is that they’re in the ceiling, so I say, ‘Hey, if you’re ever down, just look up!’ They love it, they really did love it,” she said with a laugh.

According to Gimbel, the tiles are meant to encourage students every day and establish a positive school climate.

“They are inspirational. I feel that at Gillette, we really strive to inspire our students,” Gimbel said. “You can feel it, you can hear it, and now you can see it.” 

Gillette Ceiling Tiles
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