Douglas County students become CEOs

By Kayleigh Rahn
The 2019 class of Douglas County CEO is small at just six students hailing for the county’s four high schools; however, the students seem to prefer it that way.

The six students meet every morning at 7:15 a.m. in business casual dress ready to think independently, speak with professionals, and work through hardships as they create a business. No not a business model or plan, and, no, this is not a simulation. They are building real businesses with real investors with real stakes.

The CEO program is an Entrepreneurship-focused education that encourages the students to be thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. Though it’s more than a textbook course as the students have been immersed in real-life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes.

In its second year and facilitated by Stepheny McMahon, the students have learned a bit about the business, but maybe more importantly they’ve learned about the wide variety of businesses in Douglas County and the owner and operators as they make weekly site visits and host guest speakers to discuss local businesses.

“It’s not what I thought it would be with lectures on business. It’s more about real life businesses and learning from what’s here,” said ALAH senior Gabriel Hallford.

“The lesson plans aren’t what I thought either; it’s not that traditional classroom formula, TCHS senior Sara Kremitzki added. “There are no writing assignments, no journal prompts, no busy work. We are moving toward an actual goal of creating a business.”

The crew agreed that they are more like a team than a class.

“We all get along well,” said Seth McPherson of Arcola.

“It’s nice to know people from outside our schools,” ALAH’s Seth Gregory added. “We really are close. These are just five more people I know before I head off to college.”

“College seems a lot less scary,” Kremitzki added.

Of the site visits the class has made this year, Libman’s in Arcola and Harris Electric in Atwood were surprises for the students.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 20 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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