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Sports marketing gives students hands-on experience

(Editor's note: About 95 percent of all Culpeper County Public Schools students take at least one Career and Technical Education class before graduation, according to Randi Richards-Lutz, CTE administrator. With 84 CTE classes, the options are extensive. In part one of our series on career and technical education in the Oct. 11 of Culpeper Times we looked at the graphic design program at Eastern View High School. In this second and final part of the series the Culpeper County High School sports marketing program is the focus.)

For students who enjoy sports, event planning, marketing and/or promotions, the sports marketing class at Culpeper County High School is a natural.
“It's the most popular high school marketing class in Virginia,” said teacher Lou Owens. “Students run sports events working with (athletic director) Mike Wills, are involved in security, setup, promotions and management.

“Kids leave here, go to college and talk to the athletic director about their experience and the colleges are hiring our kids. Jessie Nerkowski (a 2011 CCHS graduate) went to the University of North Carolina and told the AD about her experience and they hired her on the spot.”

Owens has an extensive background in teaching, spending 21 years in Fauquier County before coming to CCHS.

“This program works because the kids are great,” she said. “We're teaching kids the principles of having pride in their school.

“We are involved right now in a charitable project collecting blue jeans. We hope to collect thousands of blue jeans locally and redistribute them to needy kids in the school system. The kids in this class run the event and they also go out in the community and ask for blue jeans.”
Culpeper Times talked to junior Colby Mocarski, junior Kyle Rising, sophomore Donald Bock and seniors J.P. Gorby and Emily Dietz about the blue jean project.

CULPEPER TIMES: What is the focus of this project?

Kyle Rising: We're taking donated denim – skirts, jackets, pants and giving to those in need.

Donald Bock: It feels really great to be helping out the community.

CT: Has it been difficult?

Colby Mocarski: We started with our families and that wasn't bad. We're trying to get as many denim items as we can. Whoever collects the most gets a five-pound candy bar!

CT: What are you hoping to gain from this class?

KR: I'm hoping it will give me some advantage in the future. I'd like to do something with advertising.

CM: I kind of want to do something in the sports field. Casey (Colby's sister, who graduated last year) said the class helped her. We also learn how to make sports programs and brochures and that's a challenge.

J.P. Gorby: I think what we do interacts well with sports and helps promote school spirit. Instead of the teachers running a project we can.
Emily Dietz: It's part of building up our school.

CT: What's the biggest challenge?

ED: We have deadlines to meet and it can be a challenge getting everything done on time.
JG: I want to go on to a four-year college and this class is helping with my future sports career. The challenge is incorporating things I need to do into the project. But this is the one class of the day I look forward to.

ED: We're always working hard, but we learn so much.
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