High school students learn the art of business (and get paid for it too)

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) Students at Wausau West High School turned the holidays into a business opportunity in their entrepreneurial class.

From the outside looking in, it would look like any other high school class you've ever seen before, but if you look closer, you'll find out it's far from being typical.

"They've started their own company. They sell stock, they choose a product; they manufacture that product; they do sales and marketing to sell the product to their friends family and community members. Then the students walk away with a paycheck at the end of the semester." Stephanie Jahnke said to NewsChannel 7's Emily Boyer.

Jahnke is the teacher leading the class, but she's more like the manager in the midst of a business operation. During the class' open house Wednesday, customers saw just that. The group is selling holiday greeting cards.

To manufacture the cards, students use a Cricket printer to produce professional calligraphy for the cards.Then in an assembly line production, students go through the detail oriented and tedious process of careful gluing and sealing the art. And no one's giving them any hints or providing any short cuts.. not even Jahnke

"Honestly, we've run into a lot of obstacles and they were a little bit tough to get through" Senica Kaquatonsh said.

Kaquatonsh is a student in the class. He and others have to meet the standards set by the creative and marketing team and earn sales to keep the financial team off their back. It teaches them skills that their teachers say will transfer seamlessly to the workplace after graduation.

Students in this class will even draw a paycheck from their work. It comes from profits entirely from their sales and company operations. Keeping it in the holiday spirit though, the class has pledged to donate 10% of its profits to the Marathon County Humane Society.