On one side of Mandi Durr's classroom, students sit in the typical high school set-up, albeit with Plexiglas dividers separating the clustered desks.
On the other side of the room is a fully-equipped kiosk with a counter, cash register and mannequins promoting Benjamin Russell High School t-shirts. In Durr's entrepreneurship class, students oscillate between both sides of the room as they learn the principles and put them into practice selling sweatshirts and school supplies to their classmates.
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"I teach a general business class that covers all topics in business relating to business," she said, "and then I teach an entrepreneurship class where you can either take this class or be a part of the Wildcat Entrepreneur Academy. And then I teach a marketing principles class."
Entrepreneurship students are required to take general business as a prerequisite. Those who go the Entrepreneurship Academy route work in an apprenticeship of sorts with one of the stores in downtown Alexander City. The other entrepreneurship students learn how to run Benjamin Russell's student store, the Wildcat Den, with students splitting into teams working on various sides of the business.
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"We are working on managing our inventory right now, trying to get a catch-up on where we are and what needs to be replaced," Durr said. "We've got a couple of young ladies that are trying to work with the cash register and make sure that it's set up and we're not charging tax."
(In Alabama, school stores are exempt from collecting state sales tax).
Wildcat Den student Carson Carter said she and her classmates also learn how to promote the merchandise.
"We also market and come up with ideas to get it out to the public," Carter said, as one of her classmates worked on a banner for the display in the school's lobby.
"We're going to do a redesign out there to just try to generate some excitement; change up some things in that area," Durr said.
As with the other career tech programs, many of the students who take business and marketing have their own entrepreneurial aspirations including classmates Linley Watts and Gracy Dean.
"For me, this is what I want to do," Watts said. "I want to have my own boutique and store when I'm older so it's actually very helpful; showing me what it would be like."
Editor's Note: This is part of a video series on the different career technical programs at Benjamin Russell High School.