By Brooke Loring
WHRHS Student Intern
The WHRHS store, The Panther’s Den, has been doing extremely well during this holiday season. Teacher and overseer of the store, Brian Maiorino, says that a large part of the store’s success is because of the class connected to it.
Maiorino refers to Visual Merchandising, a class that has been available to students, at the high school, for two years now. Maiorino co-teaches the class alongside Visual Arts teacher Marcus Casey.
The class is the only co-taught general education class at the school, which combines retail and design.
“We are both creative, and like to think outside the box”, states Maiorino, “The perfect business partner has strengths that are your weaknesses, and weaknesses that are your strengths.” They both admit, however, that at times co-teaching can be difficult, “Finding common planning time for both of us is sometimes hard to do, and every assignment must be linked to one of our specific areas.”
Despite the difficulties, the class is very successful, and contains almost 50 students.
“We realized both of our classes (Photography II and Retail) were missing a hands-on approach”, said Maiorino. The store and the creation of the class, ultimately became the solution. The class is directly linked to the Panther’s Den, and allows students to design, select, and market products to the school community, “It is a very student-driven program”, states Maiorino. The class is currently working on a rewards program, and recently finished designing advertisements for new winter products.
“We are very fortunate to have an administration that supports us, and our ideas, to grow the related arts program in the school,” he said.
As a student of the class, this writer finds it interesting to see how important marketing strategies are for selling a product. I have also never experienced a class that is so much influenced by students. When we create designs of products and advertisements, the whole class votes on what we eventually choose, which allows everyone to be able to contribute. It is also cool to see the designs and advertisements we make around the school. Plus, being a part of the class has its perks, like a 10-percent discount.