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The ‘perk’ of attending CCHS

Student-run coffee shop opens at Creston Community High School.

Junior Zach Chubick, center, waits on Creston Community High School principal Bill Messerole at the Panther Perk, a student-run coffee shop, where CCHS students learn employable skills such as cash handling and customer service. The Panther Perk operates is currently open only to school staff and operates out of Palmer Scott's special education classroom. Once their coffee cart – funded with donations from CWC, a local nonprofit – the Panther Perk will open to CCHS students.
Junior Zach Chubick, center, waits on Creston Community High School principal Bill Messerole at the Panther Perk, a student-run coffee shop, where CCHS students learn employable skills such as cash handling and customer service. The Panther Perk operates is currently open only to school staff and operates out of Palmer Scott's special education classroom. Once their coffee cart – funded with donations from CWC, a local nonprofit – the Panther Perk will open to CCHS students.

Before the start bell rang this morning at Creston Community High School, a line was forming to get a taste of the school’s latest perk – a coffee shop.

At Panther Perk, currently located inside Palmer Scott’s special education classroom, Scott’s students were brewing coffee and steeping tea for staff, who were the first customers of the class’ latest endeavor.

The makeshift coffee shop will soon become a full-fledged coffee cart where students and staff can order caffeinated and decaf breakfast blend coffee, French vanilla and hazelnut cappuccinos, and chai, green, peppermint, Earl Grey or English breakfast teas.

Maggie Arnold, facilitator of the communication and service technology program at CCHS said the Panther Perk is a partnership between CAST, special ed and Shannon Smith’s accounting class, which started as an idea between Palmer and a representative of the Green Hills Area Education Agency.

Camden Peterson, now a senior, assisted Scott’s students last school year by creating a Power Point presentation for potential investors.

“They presented and they (the investors) were overly excited to help out,” said Arnold.

Arnold said working at Panther Perk is one way Mr. Scott’s classroom can gain lifelong skills to become employable in post-secondary life.

Scott has been working with his students on skills for different jobs, and working the cart will provide them with real life experience – cash handling, customer service, cleaning and inventory. Additionally, Smith’s accounting students will be keeping the books for Scott’s students. The two groups plan to check in with each other monthly to keep the accounting records up to date.

According to their presentation, the goal of the program is to not only enable students to experience the day to day operations of a business but also to allow them to practice and learn life skills, establish and build relationships, explore a potential career, and learn or improve their employ-ability. Their hope is that the perk of working together will promote positive school environment, integrate students with special needs into the general population, and encourage students to be creative, responsible and tolerant citizens.

Supplies and funds for the Panther Perk were donated by the CWC, Bunn-O-Matic and Office Machines.

Beverages at the Panther Perk are currently $3.00. Once the cart is received, it will be open 7:45 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday to students and staff.

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