Ex-Wichitan's 'School Pride' classroom gets extreme makeover

Maggie Howell said she plans to watch tonight's episode of "School Pride" at her parents' home in Wichita.

Howell, 23, teaches children with special needs at Lanier Elementary in Baton Rouge, La. The school was picked last May by NBC "School Pride" executives for an extreme makeover. Howell is one of four teachers camera crews followed during the filming process.

The premise of the show not only provides schools with extreme makeovers but highlights the problems schools face due to budget cuts and lack of funding.

"The whole school got a makeover but my room was tricked out," said Howell, a 2005 graduate of Kapaun Mount Carmel High School and a 2009 graduate of the University of Kansas.

Her classroom went from not having a white board to now having a giant Smart Board, she said this week. The room also received six touch screen computers and 18 desktop computers.

"I teach children who are struggling in reading and math and to let them see in such a big way that people care about them and their education is huge,'' she said.

The show is expected to air on NBC's local affiliate, KSN, Channel 3, at 7 tonight.