Monday, April 24, 2017

Trenton Students Conquer The Big Apple


#THSNYC17 saw another student group travel to New York City at capacity. Fifty-four students and chaperones From Trenton and Carlson High Schools traveled to NYC for an action packed two nights and three days.

The group arrived in Manhattan to visit Penguin Random House Books and 2007 THS Alum Kelly McGauley. Ms. McGauley serves as The Marketing Manager for Random House Children's Books. Ms. McGauley gave an inspirational presentation about her path to New York as well as a description of her job. She went on to describe how a book comes to market and all of the channels, research and promotions she uses to make that happen. The visiting students impressed while taking part in a focus group conducted by Ms. McGauley's team.


Students then traveled to stops at Madison Square Garden and Ripley Grier Studios for an eye opening visit. At Ripley Grier, a group was met by Broadway Actress Cassie Okenka, a Toledo, Ohio native who plays in "School of Rock." She gave students insight into life on Broadway as well as her own career path.


Students ended the day with shopping on Times Square as well as sightseeing from Top of The Rock at Rockefeller Center. Students averaged 9 miles per day walking over the first two days and were tired that first day in city to say the least.










Day 2 started with a trip by ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island where students explored the history of the Park as well as Immigration into the United States. Students had lunch in China Town and came back to Lower Manhattan for a tour of The 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Students were in awe taking in the power of both the mall as well as the exhibits in the museum. Also on this day, students were introduced to The New York City Subway System and did all travel by it or on foot. Uncertain at first, our students rode the rails like experts by the end of the day. It was back to Midtown for dinner in Little Italy for a 4 star meal.


Day 3 saw students take a walking tour of Central Park with visits to Strawberry Fields and Belvedere Castle to name a few sights. Students were treated to an impromptu performance at the fountain by an ensemble of acapella singers visiting New York with their high school classmates from Wisconsin. The day ended with students catching an amazing performance of School of Rock at The Winter Garden Theatre in Midtown.

This year's students were an impressive group and were complimented as such by Ms. McGauley's staff, the theatre staff at Ripley Grier Studios, our parent chaperones and most importantly our Bus Driver Steve. On behalf of the faculty advisers, Ms. Paczewitz, Mr.Monaco, Ms. Bechtol  and myself, we would like to thank the
parent chaperones for making this an incredibly fun
learning experience for our students. Thanks
to: Mike Bulatovic, Dana Castillo, Susan Truitt,
Nancy Lasich, Kellee Howey, Charisse Hoffman and
Kelly Memering.

We would also like to the Board of Trenton Public
Schools as well as the administration for the travel
opportunity.

Virtual Enterprise Takes Chicago by Storm

BY BRIAN RZEPPA
of The Trenton Tibune

Created last year to give students the opportunity to develop real-world business and occupational skills, the Virtual Enterprise program and Trenton High School has been a hit by every definition of the world. Recently the class traveled to Chicago to participate in the Great Lakes Trade Show, a competition where students from 60 schools across Michigan, Indiana and Illinois meet to face off in a variety of different events.
With the help of teacher Christopher Crews and others, the Trenton Virtual Enterprise class and their business known as “ Roasted” was able to capture first place in Impact Marketing, second place in Salesmanship and had top ten finishes in Print Ad, Brochure and Catalog.

While the strong finishes in competitions such as this one are certainly positive for the students being able to participate, what’s more important is the hands-on experience that just can’t be replicated within the classroom. Given the value of real-world experience within the realm of business, Crews found himself intrigued by the idea of Virtual Enterprise, and thought that it would be a major benefit to the students at Trenton.


“Virtual Enterprise is a non-profit firm from New York that exists to provide curriculum support to classrooms. They develop software that allows us to start a business in any field we like, and then we go through the process of setting up and running it (paperwork, loan applications, attracting investors, etc.),” Crews said. By going through each of these steps as a class and assigning students to different roles such as CEO or Accountant, the class is able to see what it takes to not only start a business, but also to succeed.

Their performance as a business in Chicago was ideal, but they’ve also done well in competitions in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and finished top 10 in the state at Cleary College in December. The results that they have seen from each of the competitions are no fluke either, as preparation for each of the events happens each and every day that the students are participating in the class.

“We practice things like elevator pitches in class, but a lot of it just comes from actually going in and doing things. For example, Ryan Lynch did our marketing impact board and he taught himself Microsoft Publisher and through trial and error got to the point where he was doing pretty good work with it.” Crews said.

The class itself stands as preparation for each of the events, but Crews has been able to bring in people all throughout the school to make sure that they are ready for any competition that may come their way. “One of the competitions is the speed interview and while I’ve interviewed people in the past, it’s been over 15 years since I did that for a living. Gary Schwartz, the human resources director for Trenton Public Schools, came in and helped us prepare, as did Ms. Lambert and Mr. Diroff.” With the help that they received from a multitude of sources, students were able to feel more comfortable going into the competition, and they were able to develop skills that will undoubtedly help them as they move into college and beyond.

The students out of this year’s class showed these skills, like leadership and the ability to multitask, in spades. “Our CEO Kendall Schram has taken it upon herself to make sure that everything gets done the way it’s supposed to and has really had an eye for completing broad range goals. Along with her, Kate Plassman has done a phenomenal job in both our accounting and marketing departments.” Crews said. “At one of our competitions, Kate was dressed up and getting ready to do an interview and before she went in, I saw her helping put the flooring down for our booth. It was really a testament to the type of worker that she is.”

Though it’s still in its infancy, the Virtual Enterprise program through Trenton High School has proven to be a success and Crews looks forward to seeing the different ways in which it can enrich his students’ educational experience. “Through programs like this, you’re developing transferable skills. Things like teamwork, communication, technological skills, they’re all things that you’ll need to succeed in the 21st century. Along with that, I’m a big believer in doing things, whether it’s auto shop or woodshop or business, you’re learning a whole set of problem solving skills that you can’t duplicate in a classroom setting.” By seeing programs like this implemented by Crews and other teachers of his ilk, students may be finding themselves more prepared to meet the challenges that they will face in the real world.