WHS Cafeteria Receives a Makeover

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The new Champion Cafe entrance.

Maggie Brousaides

The new Champion Cafe entrance.
The new Champion Cafe entrance. (Photo/ Ian Fair)

As students returned to school from February vacation, they noticed a change: the cafeteria had been repainted and decorated. Upon winning the “Healthier Us School Challenge Grant Award,” Walpole’s Director of School Nutrition Maria Hall decided to redecorate the cafeteria — a makeover that included painting the walls brighter shades of green, hanging up multiple motivational signs, and renaming the space the “Champion Cafe.”

“The reason to repaint was that they wanted to make the cafe a more appealing environment for students,” said Walpole High School Principal Stephen Imbusch. “This is one step in a multi-step process.”

These steps towards improving the cafeteria will encourage healthy eating, invoke positive attitude, and create a more pleasing setting for students. The grant to repaint the cafeteria also benefits staff because the faculty lounge was repainted in conjunction with the color schemes of the cafeteria.  Because of Maria Hall’s application, Walpole High School was one of the winners of the “Healthier Us School Challenge,”  a voluntary certification recognizing schools enrolled in Team Nutrition.  The grant allowed WHS to create healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.

In addition to redecorating the space, the cafeteria received an official name— the “Champion Cafe,” a title selected through a town-wide naming contest.  In October, the Walpole Department of Nutrition announced senior Armen Andonian’s “Champion Cafe” as the winning entry. Hall said, “Champion Cafe was selected as it was reflective of all champions —not just athletic — as you can see on the icons throughout the cafeteria.”

To reinforce the thematic inspiration to students and faculty, Hall also replaced the older flags that previously adorned the walls with new signs marked by words such as “Dream,” “Inspire,” or “Perseverance.”  Along with the painting and designing of the main cafeteria, Hall improved the faculty lounge by getting a sign on the outside and new colors for the walls.

Motivational signs are hung around the walls of the cafeteria.
Motivational signs are hung on the walls of the cafeteria. (Photo/ Ian Fair)

“I say this is phase one,” said Mrs. Hall, “of what we hope to do to bring [students] a great place to eat.”

The reactions to the redecorating have been mixed.  When asked what he thought of it, senior Walleff Garcia said, “It would better if it was two different colors instead of different greens.”

However, another student, senior Erin Fuller said, “I like the cafeteria because the walls are bright and make me feel cheery.”

 Although there are no immediate plans for the next phase of this makeover, Mrs. Hall plans to further improve the cafeteria by getting stands to hold the flags hung on the walls that now do not match the theme of the room. She then plans to continue this remodeling to other Walpole Public Schools to drive change for the positive through the schools.