Bring on spring! Award winning class ready to take on downtown window displays
The Picayune Career and Technology Center’s (PCTC) award-winning Marketing class is making great strides in what students hope will become solid careers. They are looking to partner with local businesses to gain experience and let the businesses benefit from their expertise.
The students, under the leadership of their instructor and DECA (an association of marketing students) advisor Chira Stone, have learned to do much with little and make it look fabulous. They design window displays, boards and doors throughout the facility.
“The students continue to amaze me with their creativity, problem solving and trouble shooting skills,” Stone said. “They are available to work display windows for local businesses. If they pursue this, they will excel and the community will benefit from their talents and enthusiasm.”
Their current display at the PCTC is marketing spring.
“We needed a theme for our window and with the cold winter days and dull skies, we were all looking forward to spring,” said DECA Chapter President and student Kimi Herring. “We designed clothing for our mannequins that celebrated the season with a suit that is covered with hand-cut monarch butterflies for our male mannequin and a dress that is embellished with flowers.”
The male suit was inspired by the migration of the monarch butterflies and how they are known to completely cover trees. Flowers inspired the dress for the female mannequin from the South.
The students will enter the fashion design portion of the class in the coming semester, which is something that they all say they are eagerly anticipating.
Students De-Jon Stallings, Chaunn Davidson and Iyonna Jones said that they are interested in fashion as a career but have enjoyed the creative freedom of the entire class.
“Mrs. Slone gives us projects which allow us to practice what we read about,” Herring said. “She makes a difference because of her enthusiasm and her belief in our abilities.”
KiAndre McMillian said, “The class brings out my creativity and allows me to experiment with different ideas.”
Sydney Varnado said, “I love the creativity we are allowed to express and the fact that we are able to mesh all of our different tastes and styles into one design through compromise and collaboration. The end result is always a pleasant surprise.”
Eight of these students recently placed at the 2014 DECA District IV and V marketing competition in Ellisville, Miss. that was held on Jan. 22. At this competition they brought home awards in business law and ethics team decision-making; buying and merchandising team decision-making and hospitality services team decision-making.
Mississippi DECA/Collegiate DECA Advisor Tammie Brewer explained that the DECA program in invaluable to students entering the marketing/ business field.
“DECA brings hands on experience to students. They are able to be judged by industry professionals in much like a real world experience, because the case studies are based on real world experiences,” Brewer said. “The team of two students is given a scenario where they are given a problem to solve as manager or worker. They have to solve the problem to the best of their abilities and then present the solution to a judge.”
She said it is apparent that the enthusiasm from their teacher, Stone, has transferred to the students.
“I’ve known Chira Slone since college at Miss. State. She was a wonderful student and dear friend to all. She is a great teacher,” Brewer said. “The students are excited about competing, careers in marketing and business. Their classroom experience shows in the DECA competitions because they win an in order to do that you must solid classroom instruction.”
For information on inviting the students to do window displays for local businesses or vacant downtown buildings, call Chira Slone at 985-640-3026. She is also available to speak to groups on the subject.
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