Nikki Sauerbrey is the Promotional Enterprise Program and InCubatoredu teacher at Tavares High School. The Promotional Enterprise class teaches students about a variety of graphic design and skill sets that have been helping students find jobs right out of high school. The program currently enrolls about 100 kids and that number is growing every year.
(Students learn how to stitch patches to shirts. Here we see a Promotional Enterprise shirt in the process of getting a patch stiched on.)
Tavares High School built in the 1920s has expanded tremendously over the years. The school has added new sections to the school and even has students learning in some modular units due to the continued population increase in the area. These kids are in an ever changing environment and that includes the workforce.
Nikki Sauerbrey has been an educator in the Tavares region for over 12 years now. The Promotional Enterprise program teaches kids how to work on graphic design and embroidery on shirts. All of the shirts, trophies, plaques that are made in this program are for the students and parents. Tavares is one of the only schools that makes their apparel in-house and we love that!
(This is a brand new station called the embroidery hopping station. Before the students were doing this with a ruler and chalk. Now this machine allows for proper and precise orientation of any patch or logo to be placed.)
The school is also starting a new physical and online store which will teach kids about how to run a business successfully. Kids will have the opportunity to test products out and see if they sell at the store. The best products will stay. Products that don’t do as well will go back to the drawing board.
Tavares High School is the only public school with a Promotional Enterprise class as part of the curriculum. Nikki Sauerbrey says “I just love how the kids have embraced the program. I love being able to share the program with kids and being able to give them hands-on experience to get a job right out of school.”
(Sauerbrey also teaches the Incubator class which allows students to gain experience as it relates to the business world.)
Sauerbrey says that she has had some students be able to go to work right after graduating. “All our students are able to take a Photoshop and Illustrator Certification course. They are also able to take the Entrepreneur and small business certification test. They can leave high school with those certifications and that allows them to further their career.”
(The classroom took about 3 years to complete and get to this level. Each year things have been added. The classroom is now highly modernized with stand up desks but also have chairs for students to sit. The classroom also has some couches for students to gather and think about ideas. Amazing how far classrooms have come in the past 20 years!)
Of course kids can still go to college, but we are proud to give them a head start with these certifications that enable them to start earning money right out of school. Sauerbrey also teaches the Incubator class at Tavares. That class acts like a Shark Tank type class. Students find a problem at the beginning of the class, they come up with a way to fix that problem and at the end of the semester, they pitch their idea, just like on the Shark Tank show.
The courses have been a huge hit at Tavares. The classroom is state of the art. Many of the practice items that the students practice on are donated. Local businesses have also donated equipment to the school. In fact a recent donation came from Sunday Cool who donated a full color print machine to the program.
(The class was donated this color printer by Sunday Cool. The printer has been highly beneficial to the students.)
The school is always looking for mentors and coaches for the Incubator program for people in our area who have started their own business and have succeeded. If you want to be involved you can contact Nikki Sauerbrey @email@example.com
We hope to see the program continue to have success! We wish all the kids at Tavares high including Nikki Sauerbrey a successful 2023/2024 school year.