More than just candy

School store operates with the assistance of many


ESE students Gustavo Guevara, Jimmy Rifenberg, and Ryan Elliot work in the school store selling and organizing items to other students.

Melissa Donovan, Business Manager

In the cafeteria, nestled between the hectic lunch lines and the boys’ bathroom, you will find the school store: a place where students come in with hopes to buy candy as an energy boost for the day, school supplies in case they forgot something at home, or school spirit wear like sweatshirts and sunglasses.

For many students, it has become a part of their daily routine to stop in at the store, buy what they need and go on with their day.

“I like the fact that I can buy candy at an affordable price while supporting the school,” sophomore Geno Simmons said.

The store is run by PTSA dividends who volunteer their time in the morning before school and during lunch.

“I love seeing the kids,” dividend Debbie Burton said. “It reminds me of the small town store that I used to visit for candy when I was a little kid.”

The store shelves are filled with a wide variety of sweets and snacks that range from 25 cents to $1.25 and include treats like Cosmic Brownies and Airheads. Spirit gear such as shirts can be bought right off the shelves for $22. and blankets for $25, they can also be custom ordered at the store.

The proceeds from the sales go to benefit three major areas: classroom supplies for teachers, senior scholarships, and support for the arts Reflections at state level.

“The hospitality budget we set varies,” dividend Pam Beer said. “We provide the entire school lunch before the holiday break and a breakfast once a year during teacher appreciation.”

There are also sales for all sorts of occasions. The school store sells horns for football games and gift bags for graduating seniors.  Holiday apparel is available at the holiday table in the front office, as well as chocolate and balloons for Valentine’s Day.

The store is open from 6:45-7:15 a.m. and also during lunches.

However, more than the dividends contribute to the success of the school store. Every day during break, ESE students come work the store as a part of the vocational training program. They stock the shelves when they are low on supplies, work the register and greet visitors.

These students learn employability skills, math skills through making change and social skills from interaction with the other students. They began helping out in the school store about four years ago.

“My favorite thing to do there is work the register, I usually do a pretty good job there,” freshman Gustuvo Guevara said. “I’ve learned many math skills from working there and I’ve made friends because everyone there is so enthusiastic.”

ESE teacher Tammy Harris planned out the idea with the PTSA to have students work there and they loved it. Plus, it helps out the PTSA financially.

During the time the students work there, the store makes around $30 to $50 a day on candy.

“The students absolutely love working there; they have name tags so they feel very official,” Harris said. “They enjoy making new friends while selling during the week.”

The benefits of the school store go for beyond the sale of candy and goods the store creates a sense of accomplishment and community from students, teachers and volunteers.

“I love talking to the students, the whole experience is so satisfying,” Beer said.