Published 12:45 am Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Andalusia High School students have a plethora of hands-on opportunities in the school’s career tech business programs.

Sara Mixson and Evan Soles lead the business education program at the high school.

“This is Evan Soles’ first year teaching career prep,” Mixson said. “This course helps students build a four-year plan based on the results of their career interests. They also learn necessary skills to live a successful life such ass how to create a budget, write a check, and balance a checkbook.”

Mixson said students are currently engaged in a stock market game as they learn about investment.

Mixson said students learn and are expected to use soft skills necessary to gain and maintain employment in all CTE courses.

Another course is sales and promotion, she said.

“Sales and promotion students are able to earn industry recognized certificates in Microsoft Office products, which prepare them to earn higher wages in entry-level jobs, as well as create dynamic presentations and documents for college and beyond,” she said.

Last year, some 22 AHS students received certification as Microsoft Office Specialists.

“This class also provides real-world applications for the standards covered in other classes,” Mixson said. “We delve into how marketing affects the economy and realize how each of us play a part in a global market.”

Mixson said students are also using skills learned in other courses in their business classes.

Mixson said that they apply persuasive techniques learned in their English class to promote products both real and imagined.

“Basic math skills are used to calculate product costs and increase profit margins,” she said. “I try to give the students real-world applications for their education. I know that all of these students won’t go on to become advertising executives, but I hop that they are able to become better consumers, maintain their social responsibility and become happy, successful adults.”

Mixson and Soles co-sponsor an organization called Distributive Education Clubs of America.

“Students in DECA have the opportunity to compete in business-related events such as marketing campaigns, stock market games and online simulations of business operations,” she said. “They also have the opportunity to learn the leadership skills necessary to become successful businesspeople.”

Another program is multimedia publications, which Mixson said work both in and out of the classroom to produce and promote Memolusia, AHS’s yearbook.

“The program is completely self-sustaining and funded solely by ad sales, yearbook sales, and the annual Miss Memolusia Pageant,” she said. “This year, we have also begun broadcasting school announcements on Youtube from time to time. This class allows for students to showcase their creativity while working together as a team to create a product in which the entire community can be proud. There is no better example of business operations at work than in this class.”