Students enrolled in marketing or entrepreneurship class were given the opportunity to use the skills they learned in class to experience marketing within the community.

“It’s a partnership between Mr.Rayburn’s entrepreneurship class and my marketing class, and it’s in a way developing a business,” said business teacher Ryan Johnson.

Johnson also adds that both of these student-lead classes worked together and brainstormed a product, created a product, and prepared to sell the product for profit. 

“In my class students will take care of the manufacturing, packaging and design. We will also have the president and other leadership roles,” said technology education teacher Austin Rayburn.

After the students used their marketing and manufacturing skills, the students got the opportunity to present prototypes of their products to local marketers and an entrepreneur who gave the students feedback based on their real-life experience in the field.

“Overall you could see there was a lot of time and effort put into the presentations,” said entrepreneur Darren Durman.

Darren also said that he markets his own products, and it was nice to see students wanting to do the same thing.

“I am so thankful for the community partnerships,” said Rayburn.

Rayburn said that Johnson might have been the one to initially make the suggestion to bring community members in. He loved the positive response from the members to participate. Students experienced some real-life nerves during the process.

“I was nervous. The prototype wasn’t the best looking,” said senior Donovan Bellah.

Bellah’s group was one of the four confirmed groups that product was picked to be manufactured and sold. 

Everything was working out for the classes, but then new broke.

“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Tony Evers in a news release according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

The coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the nation causing statewide school closures. This decision resulted in online schooling and a big toll on these two classes. When schools were finally closed for the full year, the project died.

Mr. Rayburn’s class were unable to produce the products that they all were hoping to make and sell.

“It’s kinda lame, I think it would have been fun designing the keychains (product),” said Bellah.

Bellah said that he felt the product would have sold well if the school closure didn’t happen. Though the school closure has interrupted these two classes, positively still shines.

“This class has been a blast so far (especially before quarantine). It has been fun working with Mr. Johnson and his class. Being that this is a new class this year, I think there are some pretty cool things happening,” said Rayburn.