KSS business class builds school spirit with T-shirts [UPDATED]Published 11:00am Wednesday, September 18, 2013 Updated 8:16pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Lots of high school students wear their school’s colors or mascots with pride.
It’s a much smaller group of students who actually make the clothes.
CIndi Appert’s students in her sales marketing and entrepreneurship class at Kennedy Secondary School do just that. The eight students enrolled this semester work in shifts at Otter Outlet, the school store, both before and after school.
During their first-period class, the students split time between lectures and classwork and making T-shirts and other clothing that can be purchased at Otter Outlet.
“It’s pretty cool what they have done in the past few years,” said Carrie Sikkink, a teacher at KSS whose graphic design classes have worked with Appert’s classes in the past. “They do all of the powderpuff T-shirts, they do T-shirts for the band, swimming. They do a lot of stuff in-house.”
Josh Evavold, a senior in the class this year, said the class has so far designed logos for powderpuff and other homecoming-related events that should be ready for purchase in the school store sometime next week. The students in the class get to vote on designs for each year’s clothing.
The current clothes in the store were made by last year’s class, but Evavold said the class has made a lot of gym uniforms in the first few weeks of school.
Appert, in her third year teaching the course as designed, said it was first set up as a more normal business elective and the other parts of the program evolved over time. After realizing her class could do some really interesting designs if they had help, Appert approached Michelle Hexum to see if she would be interested in getting an embroidery class involved. The course is truly integrated and spread out among several departments.
Arnold Bolland said he enrolled in the class because he is interested in learning more about business, having taken an accounting class in the past. He said the class has been a great opportunity to get hands-on experience.
“Right now, most of it is business because we are trying to get rid of our inventory,” Bolland said. “After our inventory’s gone, I think we’ll switch more to designing new shirts and getting more product out.”
Appert said much of her work the first few years of the course was based on securing finances.
“I bet fifty percent of my store time was spent seeking out more funds and getting grants,” Appert said. “Now that the store is kind of supporting itself, I don’t spend as much time on that.”
The money the class makes working school store makes goes back into the school’s activities fund. Evavold said the last week’s Otter Pride Night brought in a few thousand dollars to the store.
The class also takes several trips each year to Lake Country Graphics to learn more about the things they get experience with in the classroom, which Appert said has been a big help to the curriculum each year.
Sikkink said many vocational classes at KSS have seen steadily decreasing enrollment over the past decade and that funds are always an issue. Facts like this are what makes the class so special to Appert.
“In this day and age we are trying to save our classrooms,” Appert said. “The focus that our federal government has put on reading and writing and math standards takes students out of our department. This is business application in real life. They are going to learn skills they can walk out of here and be ready for.”