Economics students learn about business and turn a profit


JA-D's "save the squeeze" squeeze bottle
JA-D’s “save the squeeze” squeeze bottle

Every year Economics teacher Mr. Cummins McNitt coordinates JA Businesses, or Junior Achievement Student-Run Businesses. Students in economics class have the chance to actually earn money. They sell a product of their choice at lunches and sports events (or as roaming salespeople).

“This is a great experience for our students. They have fun, they learn a lot, and they begin to understand and make strategies for their futures,” said McNitt.

This year, all classes turned a profit.

JA-C's fleece jackets
JA-C’s fleece jackets

JA-C (Z-Inc) faired the best with their fleece jackets. They earned $1,047.20.

“I’m really happy we made the most money, but I’m also really surprised,” said Ashley Hamilton, a senior in JA-C, “we kept fighting over the sleeves on the jacket.”

JA-B (Dobis) came next with $808.91. They sold Tyrone Eagles t-shirts with wings.

“Running a business isn’t all horseshoes and hand-grenades. It was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be,” said Curtis Warrender.

JA-D (208 Jump Street) came in third with $763.39. Their product was squeeze bottles.

“It was challenging getting everyone to work together seamlessly,” said Sarah Parker, “Expect everything to go wrong.”

JA-A's tie-die t-shirts
JA-A’s tie-die t-shirts

And last but not least is JA-A (Monsters Inc.), selling tie die t-shirts, with a profit of $578.33.

“I’m disappointed that we made the least amount of money, but I don’t think it was our business’s fault, I think it was just the product that was a bad choice,” said Marijo Whalen, who was in JA-A.

To make the experience more realistic, students had to pay extra “taxes” and could be fined for infractions such as leaving the classroom dirty. “What better way to learn than through a somewhat protected ‘real world’ activity?” said McNitt.

“Our class got docked $25 for not cleaning up,” said Maddie Mengel, who was in JA-B.

JA-B's eagles with wings t-shirt
JA-B’s eagles with wings t-shirt

Previous years have seen lanyards, various t-shirt styles, water bottles, and jackets. McNitt said the weirdest thing he ever sold was the “Francoism” t-shirt, a shirt with pictures of Coach Franco and 5 of his quotes.

Students in Economics even get a paycheck at the end. McNitt says that they also find success in their midterm and final grades.

Overall, the JA businesses program has benefitted the students of Tyrone by teaching them about cooperation, finance, and business.


Running a business isn’t all horseshoes and hand-grenades. It was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be

— Senior Curtis Warrender