Students Aspire to New Heights through Bear Awards Blog Feature

By: Heidi Glasow on May 6th, 2016

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Students Aspire to New Heights through Bear Awards

Recognition | VariQuest Super Schools | Grade Level: Secondary (7-12) | VariQuest Tools: Awards Maker 400 | Academic Subject: Career & Technical Education


Meet Alexa, this year's Student Manager for the Bear Awards department at Tahoma Senior High school in Covington, WA. Bear Awards was established well over 5 years ago by Marketing Teacher, Mike Jackson after the school procured the VariQuest Awards Maker 400 as a way to provide on-the-spot recognition to students, staff, parent volunteers and community members. Mr. Jackson had a vision back then to empower his marketing students to develop real-world business skills, while generating additional revenue for their school store, The Bear Den.

"I treat it just like a separate business. I have a student manager, Alexa. She does everything a small business owner does when it come to customer service, inventory management, pricing, promotion, designing the plaques, time management and sales.", says Mr. Jackson.

Since assuming the role as student manager, Alexa has created hundreds of personalized award plaques for teachers, coaches and students, generating nearly $5,800 in sales to-date! Whether Alexa is creating an MVP award, a Chess Team award, or an AP Scholar award she prides herself as a small business owner and all that she is learning. As an incoming senior, Alexa has her sights set on a career in marketing, and through the Bear Awards program, she's been exposed to many career pathways fueling her passion for marketing even more.

"Giving students the opportunity to run a business is one of the best things I can do to help students become successful in their future." Mike Jackson~

 Mr._Jackson_and_Alexa.jpg          Alexa_award_design2.jpg When asked, Alexa finds the design process through the VariQuest software and the hundreds of customizable templates to be her favorite part of the business. "It's simple to use and easier than Photoshop. I like how you can upload your own mascot too."


As the school year quickly winds down, Alexa is busier than ever creating meaningful awards for senior night and many other end-of-the-year recognition events. As you can see her supply cabinet is well stocked with Awards Maker supplies so she's prepared for any request that comes her way!


Do you have plenty of Awards Maker supplies for your year-end award and recognition events?
If not, VariQuest is ready to deliver the Awards Maker supplies you need.


Tahoma Senior High School Supports DECA and ASB with the Awards Maker

So where do the proceeds generated from Bear Awards go? Directly towards supporting their DECA program and Associated Student Body (ASB). It gives Mike and his marketing students who run The Bear Den great pleasure to support the many DECA events and other school related activities such as: school dances, spirit week and grade-level competitions with the money raised  from recognition plaques, bumper stickers and more! According to Mr. Jackson, The Bear Den needed a new way to raise money since snacks and drinks were no longer offered due to the changed nutritional guidelines and the Awards Maker became the perfect fit to accomplish their goals. Last year alone they raised $3,200 in bumper sticker sales!

"Having the Awards Maker has given me, a marketing teacher, the opportunity to create a new source of revenue in our student store," says Jackson.



         Bumper_Sticker1.jpg School pride at Tahoma Senior High!



Finally, when asked what Mr. Jackson's experience has been like since owning the VariQuest Awards Maker, he had this to say, "Working with VariQuest is so easy. I just call and get the products and service I need."

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