BULLARD — Carolyn Welty, a senior at The Brook Hill School in Bullard, plans to study international business in college. She says being a business owner could be in her future.
She will get a real-world experience on the challenges of running a business when classes start at the school on Wednesday.
Welty will be one of the students who will help manage The Guard Shop, a new retail store on campus that sells Brook Hill merchandise.On Monday, Rod Fletcher, the private school’s headmaster, and others gathered at The Guard Shop to hold an opening ceremony.
Adjoining the retail space is a classroom that connects it to the The Cabin Coffee House next door. Students will run both businesses as part of marketing, business and entrepreneurship classes that will meet in the new classroom, which the school has dubbed the collaboration space.
“We’re super excited to be in a different environment to learn,” Welty said. “We will be able to apply what we study to the real world. It’s really exciting.”
Kelly King, the school’s business program director, said students were instrumental in planning The Guard Shop, which is located just inside the entrance to the Upper School campus, and stocking it with merchandise.
Students will be responsible for everything from pricing to inventory control.Putting the students in charge of the businesses provides a different way to teach, King said. “Kids don’t want to be stuck in a classroom with just you front of the board all the time. ... This is out-of-the-box teaching.”
On Monday, many Brook Hill students, faculty and parents were in The Guard Shop. Clothing and other merchandise were flying off the shelves.
King said she is looking forward to the educational opportunities the retail store will create.
“Our students come up with so many creative ideas,” King said in a statement released by the school. “I’m excited to see how their minds work and how we can implement their ideas into The Guard Shop and The Cabin Coffee House.”
During the opening ceremony, Fletcher said, “This is a big moment for us. ... It’s awesome that our students will be able to work in these two places.”
Entrepreneurship is “in our DNA,” he said in a news release. “We’re always asking ourselves, ‘What’s next? How can we create more opportunities for our students?’”