Mesa students get a lesson in supply and demand
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Mesa students get lesson in supply, demand

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  • Laurie Struna/Mesa Public Schools

Dobson High School Spirit Store

The latest rendezvous spot for Dobson High School students is the Spirit Store. Students peruse the well-stocked shelves purchasing goods ranging from snacks and thirst-quenching beverages to Dobson Mustangs T-shirts.

Overseeing this successful operation are fellow students – the Student Store Marketing Lab is run exclusively by Dobson Marketing I, Marketing II and Senior Cooperative Education students.

Mesa students get lesson in supply, demand DobsonStudentStoreInside

Dobson High School student Elizabeth Arnet, a Marketing I student helps a customer at the student-run Spirit Store. Courtesy Mesa Public Schools.

Serving more than 3,000 customers a week, this practical, hands-on learning lab is aligned with Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. Students gain important competencies to navigate the work world of the 21st Century, including excellent communication and interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills.

The store operates efficiently, with every student accepting accountability for its overall success.

According to Sharon LaVoy, marketing program adviser, “When student stores originated, they were set up to be practical, hands-on learning laboratories for the marketing programs. Through the years the concept faded away and the stores were run mostly by full-time classified staff members. As these staff members retired, we were left with a tremendous opportunity. I shared the challenge with my students and here we are!”

The project strengthened family connections to the school, staff and curriculum. During the summer, the business-savvy students and parents met to conceptualize and implement the store design. The father of one of the students put his architectural skills to work helping redesign the space for maximum efficiency.

Father and son spent nights at their kitchen table working on the layout, and then the ideas were presented to the group for discussion. LaVoy admits one of the highlights of the project was hearing the mom share her pride in watching her husband and son collaborate on the project.

Parents are excited about the expanded student involvement because it increases their real- world understanding of business and marketing concepts. Principal Tamara Addis believes it is a great program for students, and gives them valuable experience for their resumes. The re-tooling of the store has inspired and motivated students in a variety of ways.

LaVoy shares, “It’s amazing to see students come out of their shell working in the student store. I can’t wait to see their ideas for next year!”

For more information, please contact Sharon LaVoy, department chair and business teacher at (480) 472-3203.