Students stealthily decorate a classroom for a teacher’s birthday

Juniors Taylor Strege and Erika Voeller, along with students who graduated last year, Emily Anderson and Kayla Schimmle decorated German teacher Michelle Strassburg’s room this past Sunday for her birthday. At 8AM Sunday morning Journalism teacher Ryan McCallum let the students in and supervised them while they decorated Strassburg’s room with the help of McCallum’s son, Avery.

While the students were busy decorating, Strassburg was at home celebrating her birthday with her family.

“My birthday was pretty quiet over all. My family and I went to the Science Museum and we saw the Pirate show. Then we went out to lunch, I got some presents and my husband got me an awesome cake,” said Strassburg.

When the students were done decorating, their end result was 99 red paper balloons hung on the wall, a Pooh Bear banner hung on Strassburg’s desk, a birthday sign and a coconut.

“We got the idea of the 99 red balloons from a song that we listen to in German 3, neunundneunzig luftballoons (99 red balloons). It’s such a great song and we just randomly thought of it. Erika and I came up the balloon idea. It took us a long time on Saturday to make them. Some of the balloons look like fish, but most of those are Kayla’s. Mine look pretty good,” said Strege.

“The coconut was from Emily. It’s an inside joke. Last year at Festival of Nations Emily and Mrs. Strassburg were joking around and they found these insanely decorated coconuts and Emily kept saying that she could make those. So Mrs. Strassburg challenged her to make them and Emily gave her the coconuts when they were finished, but they were just a jumbled mess. So it’s just been this joke between us that never gets old,” said Schimmle.

The students left, while the decorations were waiting for Strassburg to find Monday morning.

“I walked into the room, Monday morning and I was like NO way. I had no idea that they were doing the decorations. Right away I got the 99 red balloon joke. It was a little embarrassing, but I think that’s the point,” said Strassburg.

“Mrs. Strassburg is a wonderful person and she can have an uncomfortable day, because it’s worth it,” said Strege.

For the 13 years the Strassburg has been teaching here at Buffalo High School as a German Teacher, this isn’t the first time that stuff like this has happened.

“Over the years some of my students have done some pretty weird stuff for my birthday. I think it was last year or the year before, but my German 4 class did a princess party for me. They had piñatas, cake and a ton of other stuff. It was a little weird, but fun,” said Strassburg.

Some teachers may find decorating a teacher’s room a little annoying, but for others it may show that their students care for them.

“It’s always nice to see these kinds of things happen. I really appreciate it. It always makes my day better. No matter how weird it might be,” said Strassburg.

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