State College

Roar Store puts best paw forward at State College Area High School

Accounting Manager Joe Kolarik checks payments for the store. The State College Area High School Roar Store is a student run operation giving the students real-world experience, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.
Accounting Manager Joe Kolarik checks payments for the store. The State College Area High School Roar Store is a student run operation giving the students real-world experience, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. CDT photo

Roar Store managers at State High Area High School donned their new black vests Sept. 25.

Their delivery had just arrived.

“It’s like Christmas,” said Hayley Couch, a senior and the North Building Roar Store’s human relations manager. “We’ve all really looked forward to wearing them, because it’s been a few weeks since I ordered them.”

The store has 11 student managers who oversee dozens of other students who work in the store. Robin Verbeck, a marketing instructor, oversees the student-run store — but the students run the show, she said.

“If, say, Thomas Leach has a question, he can come to me for guidance, but I’m not going to give him the answer,” Verbeck said. “He has to come up with the solution.”

Leach, a senior, is the Roar Store’s general manager this year. In addition to keeping his management team on task and pitching in on jobs like labeling T-shirt sizes, he is working on what will become about an 80-page document to keep the store nationally recognized by the Distributive Education Clubs of America as a gold-certified Student-Based Enterprise.

Leach said it’s a goal he has to fulfill outside of school in his spare time.

“It’s absolutely worth all of the time,” Leach said. “I love everything here about this store.”

Senior Joe Kolarik, the Roar Store’s accounting manager, is in his first year with the shop. His responsibilities include checking money drawers for the right amount of cash and change about an hour before the store opens and keeping track of the day-to-day budget.

Like other students, he said, he works in the Roar Store for a potential career in business.

“I really want to be in financing and accounting as a career, and I really felt this would be a good experience for me,” Kolarik said. “It’s really eye-opening that I’m held accountable for all the money.”

Some students have responsibilities that impact the store’s visibility and cohesiveness.

Senior India Warren, a field trip manager, takes care of the store’s television advertising and plans field trips for marketing class students. She headed the store’s team-building field trip to Shaver’s Creek in August.

“I have to work with Mrs. Verbeck on field trips, and I have to communicate with principals and administration, too” Warren said. “It’s all great experience, because you see how much goes into different projects that you work on and you get educated within the business world.”

The vest is pretty cool, too.

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