Class aims to boost attendance for production


Combining creativity, problem-solving skills and collaboration, a group of Seymour High School students has taken on the task of marketing the choral department’s upcoming spring musical.

But that isn’t the only project they have been involved with this year.

When teacher Dawn Jones took over the principles of marketing class in the second semester of 2016-17, she knew she wanted students to do more than learn from a textbook. She wanted them to be able to apply the lessons in real-life situations.

“I was honestly struggling to figure out how to teach them how to use promotion,” she said. “I had a couple of students that were in the school musical last year, and I thought we should do a department collaboration.”

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Last year, the class assisted in getting the word out about the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” in small ways, such as selling a few ads and placing yard signs. It helped increase attendance to about 1,200, Jones said.

Now, the class is in charge of all aspects of marketing and promoting the April production of “Into the Woods” with a goal to increase attendance again.

“To give them practical applications, I got with Mr. (Kyle) Karum (choir director) and said, ‘How would you feel if we helped you with more of the marketing aspect of the program?’ and he didn’t even hesitate. He said, ‘I’m handing it over to you,'” she said.

From selling ads and sponsorships to creating a social media presence to designing fliers and posters and coming up with radio spots, the class is learning the ins and outs of marketing.

With only 11 students, it would seem like a lot to take on, but Jones said the students have worked hard to be successful.

“You would be totally blown away by what they’ve accomplished since August,” she said.

Jones has geared her lesson plans to correspond with each level of the marketing projects they needed to do. The class is dual credit, meaning students earn both high school and college credit for successfully completing the two-semester course.

“I treat this class as a college course,” Jones said. “So they have a lot of freedom.”

The most visual evidence of the group’s work is the design the students came up with for the musical’s logo, which appears on all of the print and online marketing and the programs.

“They all contributed to the different aspects of it or the ideas of it,” Jones said. “We watched clips from ‘Into the Woods’ so we would know what it was.”

Using her artistic skills, junior Julia Morris drew the design with input from her classmates.

Morris said she decided to take principles of marketing to be able to do more with her art.

“I wanted to learn how to market my abilities because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a wide variety of things in the art world,” she said.

Morris has liked working on the projects and being able to expand her creative medium.

“It makes me feel really good,” she said of seeing her art used for promoting the musical. “But it also gives me room for improvement.”

The biggest challenge the class has presented so far is meeting deadlines, Morris said.

Instead of selling ads, the class did sponsorship letters, which required more personal selling, Jones said.

“They have gone over the top,” she said.

The musical is just one of the marketing projects the class has worked on. It also is responsible for helping the Owl Manufacturing class market its Junior Main Street program as well as Sertoma Christmas Miracle’s blanket drive, which resulted in almost 400 blankets being collected. The students are assisting Seymour Main Street with promoting the upcoming Happy Glamper event in downtown Seymour.

Students also currently are working on a video promoting the high school to incoming freshmen that helps answer questions eighth-graders have about going to the high school.

Senior Ashley Sargent said she plans on studying marketing in college, and she feels better prepared having been in principles of marketing this year.

The best part of the class is the hands-on experience she is getting, she said.

“With a subject like math, you don’t really see how it’s going to be effective, but with marketing, you do,” she said.

She’s proud of the work they have done so far for the musical.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “To see the end product and see all your ideas come together, it feels really good.”

No posts to display