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THS finalist for classroom makeover
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Brandy Spencer, Heather Hines and Tanya Grimes help clean their Turlock High yearbook classroom in December 2011, after a flood caused massive damage. - photo by Photo Contributed

When Turlock High School yearbook advisor Virginia Barr entered her classroom one morning in December 2011, she was surprised to learn that a flood had destroyed her entire classroom from the inside. 

“The torrent of water passed through me when I opened the door,” said Barr.  “Our books were covered in mold.  Aside from losing files and computers, our students lost valuable time in completing their assignments.  Our computers were filled with water.  They had to be dried out and restored.  Since then we’ve had problems with many of them.”

Following the loss of supplies and equipment in her classroom, Barr decided to enter the Great American Classroom Makeover, a contest that helps schools across the nation remodel their classrooms from head to toe.

Hundreds of entries were submitted nationwide and Turlock High School has been named one of the 10 finalists in the running for the grand prize of $10,000. 

“THS is the only finalist from the state of California,” said Barr.  “I never knew we would make it this far.”

The 10 classrooms compete online for votes. The winning class earns $10,000 from Great American Financial Resources. Second place wins $2,500 and third place earns $1,000.  If named a winner, Barr plans to purchase new supplies and equipment to replace what was lost in the flood.

“It would mean the world to us if we win,” said Barr.  “This money will help out my yearbook staff greatly.  I want to purchase Netbooks and a laptop lending library.”

The community can help Turlock High win the makeover by voting for the class online now through Feb. 22 at 

“Please help us get the word out,” said Barr.  “We appreciate the support.”