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Watkins has a top business program

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen High School’s Business Department encourages students to learn about the field across a number of different curriculums and get real experience.
The department was also one of 13 schools in New York to be named a “Business and Marketing Education Department of the Year.” The award came from the state education department during the Business Teacher’s Association Of New York State annual conference in October.
Eileen Malaney, Watkins Glen business department chairperson, said this is the third time in seven years Watkins Glen has won the award. She explained the education department and the teacher’s association looks for various criteria in naming winners. This includes the variety of courses offered, if the school offers college credit, what projects the students do, and how the curriculum incorporates the community.
“The teachers of Watkins Glen High School’s Business Department were recognized for their efforts in developing and providing a rigorous and relevant program of study for high school students in the area of business and marketing education,” said Daina Sisk, Business Teachers Association representative.
Malaney said students in different classes get involved in sports, yearbook, the public access television channel, and graduation. She said one such project the students worked on included a commercial, posters, and getting ads for “Defense for Devon”: a fundraising program for Watkins Glen student Devon Shaw who was diagnosed with cancer. She said all the classes contributed to that.
She explained that graphic arts students work on the memory video shown at graduation or the Baccalaureate service. Students also ask businesses to buy ads in the yearbook, and musical and sports programs.
Business related classes start as early as the freshman year. Malaney said Watkins Glen offers the Freshmen Opportunities for Success. She explained this was initially a separate offering, but was changed to teach the students why the material is relevant.
Watkins Glen also offers three business related classes for college credit. Malaney said those ACE courses are Word, Desktop Publishing, and Professionalism.
Community businesses are involved by doing mock interviews, spring recruiting, and service learning. Malaney said students can also earn credit through service learning. She added it is not just done by business students. Spring recruiting also gives students a chance to get a summer job. Malaney said area businesses looking for summer help are asked to participate.
She explained in the program students are named “Employee of the Month” and “Business Student of the Year.” Like a business, Malaney said the department has to stay up to date.  She explained the curriculum is changed each year if needed.
One potential future change is teaching about software. Malaney said the curriculum will probably have to become more content and formatting related. There have also been requests for more web related content.


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