Madras High School is committed to preparing students for success in the real world. One example of that is the Business Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathway. Students in the Business Leadership class get a unique opportunity for hands-on learning by working in the student-run store at lunchtime.

For nearly a decade, the student store has been offering students at MHS a variety of snacks and beverages that meet the Oregon Smart Snack Standards. This store is more than just a place to grab a quick bite, it’s a learning environment for our students.

Under the guidance of the Business Teacher, Jerry Shaw, students in the Business Leadership class take turns running the store, gaining invaluable experience in customer service, financial management, and teamwork. During class time right before lunch, the crew scheduled to work the store prepares for another busy day in the MHS commons, ensuring that everything is ready to go when their classmates arrive.

“The students are responsible for preparing the store for opening,” Shaw said.  “They have to count the tills to make sure that the starting cash is correct, restock and clean the store, and also turn on any needed appliances.”

Students also work on coming up with different promotional ideas to increase sales. One new initiative the students launched recently is selling chocolate chip cookies on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

One key lesson for the students is the importance of professionalism. Serving their fellow students requires a high level of responsibility, as they strive to provide excellent service while maintaining a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Students are also tasked with the critical responsibility of managing the store’s finances during lunch. Through the hands-on approach of running the store from the top down, students get a chance to learn the importance of attention to detail and the significance of teamwork.

Another valuable part of the student store experience is the development of soft skills that are essential for success in any career. As students interact with their peers, they learn to communicate effectively, collaborate with different personalities, and resolve conflicts. These skills are paramount in preparing them for life after high school.

A portion of the profits generated by the store goes towards the Buffalo Business scholarship. Last year alone, Shaw awarded $6,000 in scholarships, demonstrating the tangible benefits of the student store.

Through hands-on experience and real-world application, the Business CTE Program continues to empower the next generation of leaders right here in Jefferson County.

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