When leaders at Payson High School realized that spending roughly $1,300 for a course description guide was impossible during this cash-strapped year, they dusted off their creative caps.
Ultimately, the high school’s DECA club, an organization for young business leaders, sold ads to fund the 24-page guide that provides students with vital information concerning course descriptions, graduation requirements and tips to getting the most out of high school.
Students sold more ads than they needed in two-and-a-half days and made $1,000 to fund future field trips.
“We wanted to take this and make this a hands-on learning experience for them,” said PHS guidance counselor Don Heizer about the students. They learned how to professionally present themselves and how to market a product.
At PHS, DECA has transitioned from a business-based curriculum to marketing-based, and so the lessons students learned were particularly applicable.
“The kids really liked it,” said DECA instructor Joe Parone.
Roundup publisher John Naughton spoke to students about the project, teaching them how to explain to businesses the benefits of advertising, showing them past course guides and suggesting ways to layout ads so they remained unobtrusive.
Ultimately, each page had a banner advertisement at the bottom, except for six smaller ads on the last pages, and a full-page ad on the back cover.
“The bottom line is, I was really excited when I left their classroom because they were very enthusiastic,” Naughton said. “They went out and sold it like gangbusters.” The Roundup printed the 2010-11 course guide at cost for the school and staff helped make photographs.
Heizer said the guide could grow in pages next year, including descriptions of clubs. “We’ve been looking for a way to expand it,” Heizer said, but cost has hamstrung creativity.
“This is, I think, in every way possible a win-win-win situation,” he continued. The students win because they learn new things and earn money for their club. The school wins because of the money it saves. The community wins because newcomers can peek at the offerings inside Payson schools, and businesses win because they receive exposure.
The booklet will be distributed in the school district office and at the chamber of commerce.