- Rebecca Foster-Goodman
Popular LFHS Class Is All Business
By Rebecca Foster-Goodman
There is a certain excitement when you walk into a Business Entrepreneurship class at Lake Forest High School. With more than half of all LFHS students taking the course as freshmen, Business Entrepreneurship has one of the strongest reputations among elective offerings.
“This class has really built a name for itself over the past two decades,” says Laura Clegg, who teaches two offerings this year while Phil LaScala teaches two other offerings. “Students walk in on day one full of enthusiasm with ideas for products they want to develop. I have to explain that there are important topics they have to grasp before we get to the creation of their business.”
Kiley Goodman (left) holds a phone wallet developed by her class company, Rockin’ Pockets, while Maeve Farrell displays a dog leash created by her class company, Barkin' Scouts.
Business Entrepreneurship teaches students how to start a business from the ground up. The semester is broken into three parts. The first few weeks are spent learning about what it means to be an entrepreneur. The class then learns how to identify and write a business plan, and the final part of the semester is spent bringing businesses to life. “We try to give the kids an introduction to all of the different elements that go into running a business,” Clegg said. “We work our way through all of the pieces of business, so they know what each of the different jobs are when they start their own business.”
Students submit a resume and interview for the company role they want to take on based on their strengths. The first role to be assigned is chief executive officer (CEO). Maeve Farrell and Kiley Goodman are freshmen and the current CEOs in Clegg’s two classes. Once Maeve and Kiley were chosen as CEOs, they began interviewing their classmates and placing then into the remaining job positions. Being CEO has given them both unique perspectives on being the boss.
“I have the opportunity to be a part of all of the different departments in our business,” Goodman said. “I get to have a hand in production and marketing as well as sales and finance. It is a great way to be a leader, while also working with each of the departments.”
Farrell enjoys her role as CEO, but she is surprised by the amount of work it takes to run a class and a business. “As CEO I am responsible for leading the class,” Farrell said. “It is hands-on every single day, but I really enjoy it.”
Being CEO is not without its challenges. “Being a boss isn’t easy,” she continued. “I walk into any other class and I’m just a student. When I walk into this class, I’m the boss.”
Farrell's class company, Barkin’ Scouts, created a Scouts dog leash. Goodman's class company, Rockin’ Pockets, developed a Lake Forest adhesive phone wallet. The proceeds from the sales of these items will go to the local charity that each class selected. Both classes selected organizations based in Lake Forest; Barkin’ Scouts chose Paws for Patrick and Rockin’ Pockets chose Fill a Heart 4 Kids. Their final act as CEOs will be to present the proceeds of their sales to their respective charities, which Clegg says is one of the greatest rewards of teaching this class.
“I’ve done many things at this high school, but teaching this class has by far been my favorite experience here,” Clegg says. “This class gives kids a real world, hands-on experience of creating a business from scratch, as well as the social responsibility of helping others. From the early days of their ideas to the day they present their donations to their charity, they take full ownership of their journey. And I get to watch it all.” Interested in buying the students' wares? Contact teacher Laura Clegg at firstname.lastname@example.org