Riley Wilson ’14
As teachers Jess Hatch and Jane Lord put it, the high school’s very own School Store is “a place to create community while learning the basic textbook curriculum of business studies.” Maintained by the Retail Management class, a brand new elective, students are well on their way to creating a community through business study, creative application, and interpersonal skills taught in both the class and hands-on store experience.
The Retail Management class, co-taught by Hatch and Lord, is much like a traditional business class in that it teaches the “business studies textbook curriculum”, while students also benefit from “the ability to run the school store,” according to Lord. “[The store] is a great place for students to put themselves in the community. The best part is that students are engaged and excited about our new space.”
Hatch said that the class teaches students about “economics, supply and demand, [and] understanding communication and people skills” in a creative environment. “Students are engaged from the ground up,” he said. “You don’t need to want to study business to be in this class—students will learn life skills and lessons that will apply to all sorts of different careers.” In regard to the design aspect of the class—that is, designing and sourcing products to stock the shelves of the school store—he said that students need to craft “creative ideas that haven’t come up before.”
Prompted, in part, by the move to the new school, the Retail Management class is new this school year, created to “enhance” the permanent position of the new school store. “In the old school, the class was an independent study, Advanced Business Management,” said Meredith Cheek ’14, the class’ co-manager. “The class was both disorganized and tentative due to the lack of a schedule and faculty. [The Retail Management] class was formed to enhance the new store space provided in the new school. This is much better than the old facilities; a closet in the old cafeteria.”
Cheek is not the only one who enjoys the new space. Meaghan Colby ’13, a Retail Management student, said that she likes “how we have a lot of responsibility, but we still have room to be creative. The new school has definitely helped us get organized. It’s really cool.”
George Ebbs ’14, manager of the class, remarked that “this class is more or less an experiment for how the future operations of the class will follow.” As the class continues to progress, Ebbs aims to “document and store all of the order forms, advertisements, and quantities sold. This will help the future classes [have access to] the information needed to market the most popular products at the right quantities.”
Retail Management students are currently having an impact beyond the school building, by partnering with local store E. A. Davis. “We have the opportunity to partner with the business entrepreneurship classes and local businesses around Wellesley,” said Ebbs. “We are currently working with E.A. Davis to collaborate on new designs and discover new connections for production and distribution.”