New Jersey Elementary School Staff Celebrates $7,500 School Lounge Makeover® from California Casualty

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Apshawa Elementary School secretary Colleen Leslie was thrilled by the vibrant new staff lounge following a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover from California Casualty. Entries for the next School Lounge Makeover are now being taken at

Winner Colleen Leslie (2nd from right) enjoying the new staff lounge

We love our beautiful new lounge; thank you!

“We love our beautiful new lounge; thank you!”

That was the reaction from Apshawa Elementary School Principal Stephanie Primavera during the unveiling of their $7,500 School Lounge Makeover® from California Casualty. The re-made lounge was won by school secretary Colleen Leslie in December. She learned about the contest in an email from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).

Colleen, who has worked at the school for eight years, is described as the person who takes care of everyone else before thinking of herself. She remarked that everyone at Apshawa has offered support during a very difficult year for her. “I wanted to win this for them, to thank my family.”

The entire staff was treated to a repainted room adorned with new conference tables and chairs and more organized storage areas. Sofas, floor lamps and other accessories were added for more comfort. A new coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator, replaced old ones that were donated throughout the years.

California Casualty created the School Lounge Makeover® contest in 2011 to provide a more soothing environment where teachers and staff can go to rejuvenate and recharge. Apshawa Elementary in West Milford, New Jersey is the ninth school to receive a School Lounge Makeover.

California Casualty has proudly been serving educators for more than 60 years and gives back with other programs that benefit schools and students such as:

  •     The Thomas R. Brown Athletic Grants, awarded to public high school sporting programs impacted by budget cuts
  •     $2,500 California Casualty Academic Award, helping educators recoup what they spend from their personal funds for classroom supplies and projects
  •     The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence, in conjunction with the NEA Foundation, honoring excellence in the classroom

Entries for the next California Casualty School Lounge Makeover® are now being taken at The deadline to enter is March 6 with a winner announced in April. A contestant must be an active employee of a K-12 public school or school administrator and a member of NEA or ACSA, COSA, NASA, KASE or OAESA. Should a school administrator win who does not work on a school campus, he/she will have the option of choosing the public school to receive the makeover. All members at the school may also enter, thus increasing their school’s chances of winning. Complete rules and entry forms are at

Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with Service Centers in Arizona, Colorado and Kansas, California Casualty provides auto and home insurance to educators, firefighters, law enforcement and nurses across the country. Celebrating 100 years of service, California Casualty has been led by four generations of the Brown family. To learn more about California Casualty, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit or call 1.800.800.9410.

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Mark Goldberg
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