Student-run store provides MCHS students unique real-world opportunity
In the lobby of Moffat County High School is a store run by students.
The students in the store are all members of the DECA or Future Business Leaders of America clubs at Moffat County High School, and functions as hands-on experience for the students that are interested in business to get to learn how to run all aspects of a store, with real world consequences.
Inside the store, students sell snacks, drinks, and Moffat County Bulldog gear, giving students a chance to learn the ins and outs of business.
Students in the store learn how to use the cash register and the Square system to take credit and debit cards, and work inventory and ordering new products, gaining experience through the work-based business classes at the high school.
Despite being in DECA or FBLA, kids do not have to work in the store. The store is staffed on a volunteer basis with an incentive to those that do decide to work in the store.
“They volunteer. They sign up monthly to work shifts and then they get lettering points towards lettering in DECA and FBLA and towards graduation cords,” Buisness and Marketing teacher Krista Schenck said. “So, it’s not required but most kids do it because that’s a good way to earn those points.”
While running a store day-to-day is challenging in its own right, supplying the store is another challenge of its own, as they have to follow strict nutritional guidelines put in place by the Colorado Department of Education.
“We have to meet all the nutrition guidelines, so we don’t have a lot of candy bars and things like that. It’s kind of limited on what we can get that meets guidelines. Well, you can’t have things with too much sugar, trans fat, sodium,” Schenck said. “There is a whole list, there is a calculator that we use on the CDE website and you put in serving size and all these requirements and it tells you what is allowable and what isn’t allowable.”
The store’s hours also have to follow state law in regards to not being open around meal times.
“So, the store could technically be open all day if we weren’t selling food items or drink items. We can sell sweatshirts and shirts all day long but if we’re selling food items, we can’t compete with a federally funded breakfast or lunch program and that’s just state law,” Schenck said. “We can’t open a half hour before or after lunch or our breakfast program.”
As part of their responsibilities, the students also design the shirts that are sold in the store.
The students do get feedback from their friends about what they want to see in the store and what they would want to purchase.
“Quite a bit [of feedback], especially when we’re running low on some of their more popular items.” senior Sebastan Hershiser said. “They come in and they are like, ’what if we got this in here?’ Hopefully it’s a healthy alternative or it’s good enough to be in the store. So, we usually try to get it in there.”
A key benefit for students working in the store is to gain hands-on experience and take the gained knowledge into the real world. One student takes his experience working in the store and applies those skills in the real world, as Hershiser holds a part-time job at Walmart.
There, Hershiser does a lot of what he does at the school store, allowing him to continue developing his skills.
“I actually already use a lot of it in Walmart right now,” Hershiser said. “So, managing inventory, making sure all of the backroom is organized properly, keeping count of what’s on the shelf and cashiering. I do that too.”
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For nearly 40 years, Jonathan Herring has pursued his passion of education as a teacher, administrator, and principal in bigger cities such as Kansas City and Las Vegas.