Addition Financial renovates classrooms for four Central Florida teachers

LAKE MARY, FL (August 2, 2019) — As students head to class this fall, four lucky teachers will welcome them back in style, thanks to classroom renovations donated by Addition Financial.

To thank local teachers, Aaddition Financial kicked off its 2019 Renovate to Educate Contest, selecting one public elementary school teacher from Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties to receive a free classroom makeover. The credit union provided renovations up to $2,000 per classroom.

“At Addition Financial, we believe that empowering our community begins in the classroom,” said Linh Dang, Addition Financial’s Chief Development Officer. “We are thankful for the hard work dedicated by our local teachers, and are proud to show our support through programs like Renovate to Educate.”

This program, now in its second year, invited teachers to apply for classroom renovations by submitting an essay about their visions of a dream classroom. Winners were selected from Treadway Elementary, Millennia Elementary, St. Cloud Elementary and Altamonte Elementary.

To bring these visions to life, Addition Financial teamed up with Seminole State College’s Interior Design program, hiring paid interns to collaborate with each individual teacher.

“The interior design students at Seminole State College are thrilled to complete their internship with Addition Financial because they get a once-in-a-lifetime experience to make a difference in the lives of elementary school teachers and students,” said Holly Rodwick, professor and program manager of interior design. “They are fortunate to tackle real-world design experiences, like interviewing, field- measuring, working with budgets and meeting deadlines. This is a rewarding experience that the students and the interior design program are excited to be part of every year.”

Addition Financial also worked with other community partners to make these renovations possible. Seminole State alumna Amber Clore, the principal interior designer and owner of AClore Interiors, donated her luxury design expertise to assist the students throughout the project. In addition, Sherwin Williams donated paint, while Empire and BOS both donated furniture for the classrooms.

Classroom reveals took place at each of the elementary schools in late July and early August. The classrooms included:

  • Osceola County: St. Cloud Elementary
    St. Cloud Elementary teacher Jill Rissetto teaches ESE students in kindergarten through second grade with autism. Her classroom makeover incorporates a sensory corner to help students develop and engage their senses, while providing a safe space to help students regulate their emotions.
  • Lake County: Treadway Elementary
    For fifth grade science teacher Caryn Long, the goal of the perfect classroom is to help students visualize themselves as future STEM leaders. Ms. Long hopes to instill a love of science in students through the classroom theme of Diversity IS Science.
  • Orange County: Millennia Elementary
    Fourth grade teacher Elizabeth Zarrilli hopes to engage students with a Growth Mindset Home theme. Because some of her students are homeless, her dream classroom invokes a sense of comfort and welcome.
  • Seminole County: Altamonte Elementary
    At Altamonte Elementary, Krista Phelps-Elliott teaches deaf and hard-of-hearing students in all subjects from kindergarten through fifth grade. Her dream classroom provides non-desk seating in a semi-circle to allow for easy class discussion and communication, and incorporates movable furniture to accommodate for the variety of tasks and lessons.

About Addition Financial

Addition Financial believes in the power of transforming lives by bringing financial success and education to everyone. With a robust suite of financial services designed to meet members’ needs, the credit union serves more than 170,000 members at 26 full-service branches and 10 high school branches and is a part of the Presto! ATM network. Headquartered in Lake Mary, Fla., Addition Financial is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with more than $2.8 billion in total assets. With a legacy of more than 85 years of serving educators and supporting education, Addition Financial is the Official Financial Institution of the UCF Knights and owns the naming rights to the Addition Financial Arena on the University of Central Florida campus. Addition Financial is also the Preferred Credit Union for Seminole State College and the Preferred Credit Union for Valencia College. For more information, visit

About Seminole State College

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor’s degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter: @seminolestate.  #SSC #GoStateGoFar


Aaron Sanders
Specialist, Public Relations
Addition Financial Credit Union
| Lake Mary, FL 32746
P: 407-896-9411 x2292

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