The Davenport Ridge School teachers were brought to tears Monday when they found that a pipe had not burst in the staff lounge on Thursday afternoon. It had all been a ruse as more than 30 parents redecorated the break room for the first time since the school was built in 1971.

“Teachers were overwhelmed this morning … some even cried,” Kim Kempton, of the PTO at Davenport Ridge, said in an email Monday. “It was a huge success.”

With Principal Carol A. Puccella and Vice Principal John Coperine retiring at the end of the school year, the PTO wanted to do more to show they value their teachers, Kempton said. So, instead of just holding a lunch for the teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week, the parents got permission from the school’s administration, spread the word about a fictional pipe burst, and got to work.

“It was time for us to go above and beyond,” Kempton said. She and the rest of the PTO sent out “want ads” asking parents to volunteer at least two hours of their time from 3:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday to complete the project. They also received help from Ikea of New Haven, Brandman’s Paints and Karp’s True Value, which supplied the PTO with furniture and other items.

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