CAMBRIDGE, Minn., (Jan 28, 2014) -- The Cambridge, Minn., Center held its grand opening last fall and since then "things have been looking up," -- physically - for the Soldiers at the center. That's because the ceiling in the office is now covered with new ceiling tiles made up of a collection of student-created artwork exhibiting school pride. Each tile is designed to represent a particular school's name, colors and mascot.
Cambridge Center Commander Sgt. 1st Class Charles Rachunek said, "I got the idea from St. Paul Center Commander Sgt. 1st Class William Foy. The two worked together in St. Paul for a couple of months before Rachunek moved to Cambridge.
"He launched the ceiling tile competition at his last recruiting center and it worked pretty well. The project works well to exhibit local high school pride and getting students involved in doing something for the Army. Now when students or their parents come in to the center they can see that we have something representing their school."
Rachunek took the idea to each school art department explaining to the teachers the rules of the competition. The designs had to represent school spirit and pride in your country.
"Most schools were very receptive to the idea. The results of the project were 11 of our 12 high schools in the area submitted a ceiling tile."
The judges for the competition were art teachers and veterans from the Cambridge-Isanti VFW Post.
"When I approached my judges for the event, they thought it was a super idea, and thought it was a great way to get community involvement, and had no problem with the judging. North Branch High School ended up winning the competition portion of the event, but there were really no losers, because all of the ceiling tiles look great."