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Entrepreneurship students open school store

Jairo Martinez and Ja'me Vega

Thanks to a grant from Princeton ISD, students at PHS will get a real-world look at entrepreneurship.

Beginning with the first day of school, students in Eric Lockman’s class were able to open a school store. Equipped with a high-tech point of sale machine, business students can make sales, track inventory and monitor profits. 

The project came to fruition after a couple of years of input from administration and bouncing around ideas.

The store will be open for students daily in the old concession stand that has been converted near the practice gym in the middle of the cafeteria. Students can pay with cash at the point of sale or deposit funds into their account through checks or cash.

Brittney Sparks

For now, the store will be open during break and feature common items needed for school, including pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, glue sticks, spiral and composition notebooks, paper and poster board.

“We are going to gauge traffic to determine when and how often to be open,” Mr. Lockman said. “We want to be there for the students when they need something, so that may include being open some before school. However, we also have to use our manpower to operate the store, so we will determine what works best.”

Once school gets in full swing and the entrepreneurship students have taken full ownership of the school store, Mr. Lockman expects them to give the store a name, as well as brainstorm what items the store should stock.

“Some ideas that have already been contributed include Panther lanyards for their ID badges and possibly portable chargers,” he said.

The school store doesn’t just exist to teach students the skills of entrepreneurship. They are hoping it will increase school spirit. Although all of the details have not been finalized, students will earn store credit for attending a school event.

Ruthie Bullard stocks the school store.

“Mr. Sadler wants to encourage students to support PHS by going to games and cheering for our players or attending a school concert or anything where students are there for other students,” Mr. Lockman said. “We might even give more credit when it’s a big game that really needs beefed up attendance and fan support.”

The store credit will be earned through a hashtag system, and specific details will be released soon.

Another plan will be for the school store to sell spirit shirts.

“We want the store to be for the students,” Mr. Lockman said.

The school store will also give back to the students in other ways.

“Initial proceeds will be invested to purchase more merchandise for the store, but we eventually want to build our scholarship fund,” Mr. Lockman said. “This is a true way of going full circle to give back to the school.”

Last year, PISD closed out the school year by awarding teacher grants in the amount of more than $51,000. The district plans to continue this practice annually and has budgeted $50,000 to go toward teacher proposals.

“I am thankful we are in a district where they really want to invest in the students,” Mr. Lockman said. “This class is about creating a business, but they learn traits and characteristics about becoming leaders and contributing to society in a positive way. This school store with its new point of sale machine will help achieve that goal.”

Ruthie Bullard and Ja'me Vega.