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One sweet ride
Stang Zone profits deliver vehicles for schools activities
0820 Stang Suburban2
Sherry Baggot (center) and her Stang Zone employees for the semester show off the fruits of their labor. SEHS has purchased a second Suburban with earnings from the Stang Zone for clubs and teachers to use for meetings and competitions instead of buses. From left are Brian Hayes, Quincy Pelote, Marissa Seckinger, Sherry Baggot and Taisha Williams. - photo by Photo by Calli Arnold

When the wheels on the school bus go round and round to take six students across the state to a competition, the trip gets expensive — especially if the chaperone isn’t licensed to drive a bus.

But at South Effingham High School, that same trip won’t cost nearly as much, thanks to the success of their school store, the Stang Zone. A portion of the Stang Zone’s profits from the 2008-09 school year was used to purchase a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban at the beginning of the last fall semester. Teachers and advisors of numerous clubs, from FFA to Model UN, were able to participate in state and nationwide events by taking the Suburban.

“We stayed overbooked, and we decided to purchase a second vehicle,” said SEHS Assistant Principal and CTAE supervisor Angie Wood

The first has 22,000 miles and the second, a 2010 Suburban, arrived on campus Thursday, two weeks after the Effingham Board of Education approved the low bid purchase at $34,751 from NeSmith Chevrolet.

With a new small business development curriculum in place that mandated a school-based enterprise, Wood selected business teacher Sherry Baggot to launch the Stang Zone in 2008 with a card table and a few snacks, letting students from the entrepreneurial ventures class operate all the odd and ends of the store.

By May 2009, sales grossed $134,000. Last school year, they grossed $118,000. The store is only open three hours a day, during lunch and before and after school. The big seller is food and snacks, which students buy to supplement or replace the school lunch, and then there are knick knacks, purses, necklaces and South Effingham apparel.

“It’s amazing what we do in here in a deposit in three hours,” Baggot said. “We average about $700-$800.”

And all of the money goes back in the school.

“The Stang Zone brings in a lot of money to the school that they turn around and give back to many programs in the school,” said SEHS Principal Dr. Mark Winters. “… So there are things that come up that we need here at school and that aren’t in the budget, and the Stang Zone’s been able to purchase those.”

In addition to the Suburbans, the Stang Zone has bought paper and printers for the school; it has donated uniforms to disadvantaged students; and it has donated to and sponsored causes from the annual senior class breakfast to Relay For Life.

“We want whatever (profit) we do this year to stay in our school,” Baggot said.

“This year, I believe we’re going to look at doing some scholarships for students who are going in to the business, entrepreneurial venture field, small business development, anything in that area,” Wood said.