Bear River students play the Trump card
There were more than a few differences Tuesday between Donald Trump and Bear River High School economics instructor Dave Morehouse.
Trump, the real-estate mogul turned television impresario who headlines “The Apprentice” reality show, wears Armani and Bruno Magli. On Tuesday, shivering under gunmetal-gray skies, Morehouse wore New Balance shoes and a Nike warm-up suit.
Morehouse toils in a classroom, not a board room. When the wind blows, as it did Tuesday, Morehouse’s hair doesn’t threaten to fly away.
Although they may not dress the part or share the billionaire’s penchant for witty catch-phrases, Morehouse and teaching partner Terry McAteer will be channeling The Donald in leading their students in a month-long course in entrepreneurship.
The winning team won’t win a trip to Trump’s exclusive Mar-A-Lago resort or a weekend roaming the fairways at the Trump National golf course north of New York City.
The economics students are playing for pride – and a pizza party for displaying the most creativity, moxie and profit at the end of the exercise.
Monday, 70 students huddled in small groups organizing the task of hawking morning food to 1,000 bleary-eyed students the following day. Each group was given $20 to spend on public relations, advertising or grub. The goal: To move as much product as possible in the 40 minutes before school began.
One group of students spoke of juicing their own oranges donated from local supermarkets and selling each cup for $1. At least two groups talked of selling Montana-sized muffins for the same price. Others talked of enticing students with homemade, cooked-to-order pancakes.
In a show of unity and brand placement, two teams created team T-shirts with distinct logos.
“Knowing your competition is important,” McAteer intoned as the students buzzed. “That’s a lesson to be learned.”
For two days, it was all about the art of the deal, and not necessarily the lessons Morehouse and McAteer imparted to the students.
Morehouse said he checked the state’s standards for economics and found that this month-long course – where the students will also be asked to coordinate a fund-raiser, publish a marketing brochure for Bear River and produce a 60-second commercial – meets nearly all the requirements.
“The great thing about this is, they’re excited,” McAteer said. “They love being competitive.”
Part of the proceeds from each of the group’s profits Tuesday were donated to charity or school programs.
“It’s probably a little easier for us to do this, because we’re students,” said Katie Merrill, whose group was planning the fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Some students groused that this competition wasn’t real since many local businesses simply donated their product to be sold.
“The fact that there’s so much competition makes it realistic,” Katie Redmond said.
At 6:50 a.m. Tuesday, tables were assembled, hot plates warmed, and the competition commenced.
The seven members of Future Team America arrived in their custom monogrammed shirts, armed with muffins and juice for the benefit of breast cancer research.
Members of Tunafish Productions nearby peddled cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate and a table full of miscellaneous goods assembled by Michael Harris. His booty included a Slinky, toys from fast-food meals and a smelly leather wallet.
“I don’t expect to sell any of this stuff,” he said. “I’ve just been collecting it over years and years.”
A line 40 students deep snaked toward the Bad Luck team’s homemade chocolate-chip pancake stand. Perhaps it was their name that caused the group more than one power outage, leaving some who bought tickets ahead of time hungry as the bell rang.
Morehouse said The Donald would be proud of the vibe warming Bad Luck’s hot plates.
“He’d like to see the aggressive marketing and finding loopholes and creative ways to succeed,” Morehouse joked.
Those lucky enough to eat were impressed.
“I’d rather eat this than anything else,” sophomore Lana Puckett said. “It seems like we’re all famous, the way they’re all screaming at us to get our attention.”
Nearby, Team Silver Bullet furiously topped waffles with chocolate chips, powdered sugar and whipped cream.
That much sugar before 8 a.m. might be enough for Trump to fire anybody.
“That’s what kids want,” said team member Colleen Noud.
The ploy sold junior Willy Brinker, his mouth stuffed.
“I haven’t had breakfast in the morning since the third grade,” he said. “I got up early just for this.”
With five minutes to go, McAteer and Morehouse ordered the tables folded, the waffles ironed. “Liquidation sale!” yelled a student from one of the muffin booths.
“I think The Donald would be proud,” Morehouse said, munching on a chocolate-chip pancake. “And the best thing is, nobody got fired.”
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