Hawks’ Nest open for business
TO SHOP AT HAWKS’ NEST
The public and students are welcome to shop at Hawks’ Nest. It’s open from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and during some school events, such as basketball games.
Hours might change in the future. For more information, call the school at (608) 868-9300 or e-mail mhsschoolstore@mail.Milton.k12.wi.us.
MILTON You can take all the classes you want about running a business, but some things you only learn on the job.
That’s the philosophy behind a new school store at Milton High School run by students in the business administration class.
Hawks’ Nest opened in December after years of effort from business teachers and months of planning by students. The store, located behind the main staircase near the front doors, sells Red Hawk gear and might soon sell school supplies.
Students are responsible for the entire operation, from purchasing to marketing to staffing the register.
“Lessons learned here, you can’t really learn in a regular, traditional classroom,” Principal Jeremy Bilhorn said.
The effort has taken a lot of patience and teamwork, teachers said.
Former business teacher Brian Hammil proposed the class for several years before he was promoted to athletics and activities director this year.
In fall, the class got started under new teacher Jamie Bauerkemper, who had experience supervising a school store. But the plans were thrown into disarray when Bauerkemper died in September.
“After that, it was a group effort,” said business teacher Amy Kenyon. Fellow business teachers Joshua Firgens, Jennifer Kligora and the newly hired Tim Houfe helped pick up the slack.
The 11 students in the class had to submit resumes and interview for their positions. The school brought in Lisa McCue from First Community Bank to interview them so it felt more realistic.
“I think the students really got a lot out of that,” Kenyon said.
The students have learned a lot in the month the store has been open, they said.
Manager Sara Hoffman, a senior, is responsible for creating the schedule and overseeing the teams in charge of merchandise, finances, sales and promotion.
“I learned it’s a lot harder to watch over everyone than you’d think,” she said. “It’s a lot more responsibility and time.”
Business was good before winter break as students bought presents for family members, said assistant manager Matt Schuh, a junior. It has dropped off some after the break, but he expects it to pick up again when the store starts selling school supplies.
For now, the tiny store is full of red and black, from sweatshirts to blankets to caps. Hoffman quickly learned that customers can be unpredictable when a hooded cardigan she thought no one would buy turned out to be one of the most popular items.
Other classes are getting in on the act, too.
The art department held a contest to design the store’s logo, and the e-commerce class is designing its Web site.
Staff members believe the store will break even this year. They hope it can turn a profit in future years so money can be put back into the school.
Store employees will decide how the profits should be used, Bilhorn said.
Of course, “they’ll get a lot of ideas from their principal,” he added.