Class makes presentations to WCS board

By Josh Sigler

Members of the Wabash High School business class IncubatorEdu were on hand to give presentations during the Monday, March 4 Wabash City Schools Board meeting.

The presentations centered on the type of business each group has started, and what the students have learned while enrolled in the program.

“I want these kids to know that they can start businesses right here in Wabash,” teacher Tyler Olson told the board before the start of the presentations. “… I want these kids to see successful businesspeople in our community, and to connect them before they leave us and go off to whatever their next step is, so they know they can come back. This program has done an awesome job of allowing that networking between professionals in our community and the students.”

Community members Jordan Tandy, Parker Beauchamp, Ty Renbarger and Paul McCann have served as mentors for the groups.

Student Isabelle France explained that her group is called Student Services.

The group started with the idea of portable chargers for computers, and pivoted to more of a service because they felt that portable chargers weren’t necessary and had already been invented.

Group member Kallen Kelsheimer came up with the idea of Student Services, which started out as a helpful service for lawncare, moving for elderly people.

The group interviewed people in downtown Wabash, and came to the realization that their focus was too narrow.
Now, the target group includes everyone in Wabash County, aimed at homeowners who need everyday tasks and lawn services completed.

The plan is to employ high school students from their school, including France, Kelsheimer, Alex Driscoll and James Booth, and in the future, maybe branch out to other schools.

“One thing this class has taught me is the support from our community,” France said. “Just, with our mentor Parker Beauchamp helping us and Tandy and McCann, it’s really been cool to just do our thing, and have that support and back up of everyone helping us.”

Trenton Daughty presented on behalf of the group Diner Destination.

At the beginning of the year, the group wanted to create a smartphone app to solve the problem of arguing about where to go out to eat.  Through interviews, the group found 125 people who had this problem and would benefit from the use of an app.

Those people were signed up as early adopters. The group has created a texting service to start, and met with Reusser Design, a company out of Roanoke which Daughtry said has created several apps.

The group is unable to create its app at the moment due to financial issues, but upcoming competitions may afford them the money to be put toward creating the app.

“I really appreciate the time Mr. Olson and Ty have put in to our group,” Daughtry said. “It really means a lot for someone who wants to go into business. I think we all want to go into business, and this has been a great opportunity for us as a group to go out into the world and have business meetings, getting acquainted with the business world and get our feet in the water and get us used to what it’s like.”

Olivia Lindsay presented on behalf of the group Shop Fresh.

At the beginning of the year Lindsay and members of her group decided to tackle the problem of how fresh produce goes back quickly.

The group came up with the idea of creating a diffuser that goes in the refrigerator.

“Unfortunately, we’re not engineers and we’re not chemists,” Lindsay said. “So, we decided we were going to create a filter.”

The filter is called an EcoFresh filter, and it’s also designed to go in the fridge to keep produce fresher for longer.

The filter is a pineapple-shaped, ceramic filter which is made by members of the group.

The filter has monthly refills that are made from zeolite, which is an ethylene gas absorber, Lindsay explained.

“Throughout this entire process we’ve had a lot of help from Mr. Olson and Mr. Tandy,” Lindsay said. “It’s just been a great experience.”

In another matter, the board tabled the decision to hire a group of spring coaches after the criminal history of at least one of its potential hires became a point of objection from board member Kip Cantrell.

Wabash City Schools disseminated a press release on March 6 to address the issue.

“Wabash City Schools places student safety as our number one priority in everything we do,” the press release said. “From being the first district in the county to have a full time School Resource Officer to extensive hiring practices built on a philosophy of hire to retire, Wabash City Schools is committed to ensuring we place the best people with our students. All Wabash City Schools’ hires and volunteers have extensive background checks, both on federal and state levels.

“Anyone with a charge or conviction must appeal to the superintendent prior to employment or volunteering with Wabash City Schools. Anyone with a child endangerment charge or conviction will never be granted access to volunteer or to employment with Wabash City Schools. Lesser charges, such as alcohol-related charges, especially in one’s youth, will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis. We believe in the opportunity for redemption in both our students and our staff; however, we would never hire if there was any hint of child endangerment crimes or behaviors.

“Again, we stand behind our past hires and our hiring practices. If there are any concerns or questions from the public, Wabash City Schools remains open for discussion.

Cantrell didn’t specify which hiring candidate he objected to.

The board also:
-- Approved a recommendation to accept a grant from the Community Foundation of Wabash County in the amount of $3,000 to provide snacks to third and fourth grade students at O.J. Neighbours.

-- Approved the recommendation to participate in the bidding opportunities for 2019-20 for grocery, milk/dairy, and bakery through Food2School Purchasing Cooperative.

-- Approved the recommendation to accept the cafeteria charging policy for the 2018-19 school year. Students at the high school may now charge up to four meals without any money in their account.

-- Approved the retirement of Debbie Lane as a WCS bus driver at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

-- Approved the 2019 budget proposal and dates for Begindergarten at O.J. Neighbours Elementary School. Begindergarter is scheduled to from from June 3 to July 12, 2019, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

-- Approved an overnight field trip to Washington D.C. for WHS students in grades 10 and 11, March 13-17, 2019.

-- Accept the resignation of Rebecca Waymire as paraprofessional at O.J. Neighbours Elementary effective March 15, 2019.

-- Approved the Wabash Miami Area Program Joint Service and Supply Agreement.

-- Approved an agreement between Transform Consulting and Wabash City Schools for Transform Consulting to facilitate the Ambassador’s program as presented in the proposal for $10,640.00.

Posted on 2019 Mar 12