HASS Students Learn Business Etiquette with Sarah Martha Parker of Simply Proper Manners


Bernard and Dominque learn how to make introductions with Sarah Martha Parker

Do you know the proper placement of name tag? How to hold your plate and drink and still be able to shake hands at a reception? How to make conversation at a business lunch? HASS students do thanks to Business Etiquette with Sarah Martha Parker with Simply Proper Manners.

Our students learned the proper placement of a name tag – on the right in case you were wondering; how to make polite conversation, how to balance your plate and drink while still being able to shake hands at a business reception, how to navigate a formal place setting, when it is ok to use your fingers and how to properly use a knife and fork.

We are so thankful to Sarah Martha for a fun and entertaining session that was useful to all. The students were especially excited the next day when they were able to put their new etiquette skills to use during their visit to Daxko.


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EBSCO Welcomes HASS Students with Paper Airplanes and Practical Lessons

From HASS Executive Director Lauren Sanders:

HASS students welcomed by David Walker and Elise Stearns who greeted them with refreshments and an EBSCO goodie bag. We took a few minutes to get settled before David began introductions. From the beginning we could tell this was not a typical corporate visit. Instead of the usual introduction, everyone in the room had to tell an interesting fact about themselves. The students really enjoyed learning about their presenters and throughout the day they made sure to remind everyone to share.

After the welcome and the history of EBSCO presentation, the students met Karla Wiles and her team from Corporate Communications. During this session they learned what marketing is and its role at EBSCO and about all the different jobs involved with marketing. During the marketing exercises, students engaged in a simulation where they looked at advertisements that would be displayed in different ways. They used a brainstorming technique used by the EBSCO communications team to come up with ideas for advertisements. This experience led several students to think about a career in marketing.

IMG_0997Next the students heard from Brian Holley from PRADCO Outdoor Brands. Brian demonstrated some of the equipment sold and quizzed some of our hunters and fishers about the products. Jada won a turkey caller and Mr. Harper won a few fishing lures but everyone was given PRADCO hat. Brian shared advice with the students that he has followed throughout his life which included: stay out of trouble, get the best formal education you can but remember it is all about figuring out how things work, become a lifelong learner, and “save and invest is the key to financial success,” and finally “do what you love.” The students highlighted this session as one of their favorites! 

Like the Marketing session, the Information Technology session opened the students’ minds about different opportunities in IT. Paxton Lamons and Chris Matheson shared how IT weaves through every department. 

Scott McKibbin and Rodney Mines from the Lean Operations Team took the students through an exercise used with real EBSCO employees that illustrates what the Lean model is and how it is used at EBSCO. The students were split into teams and tasked with filling a client’s order for 13 working paper airplanes. The first time students went through a ‘shift’, neither team completed the order and they both created a great deal of “waste” in the amount of incomplete airplanes produced. Then they brainstormed ways to increase productivity and decrease the amount of waste produced and money lost. The students decided they needed to eliminate the amount of incomplete airplanes produced by creating WIP sites that could only hold one airplane in production at a time and they could eliminate the manager position and the materials handler position which would save money. They completed another “shift” under the lean model and wasted significantly less. However, they were not successful in completing the order because somehow both teams changed the way they were folding the wings of the plane causing it to fly crooked. Learning in failure -a favorite lesson!

Brian Wilson, Carlton Kemper, and Katie Gilbert from the Human Resources went through the do’s and don’t’s of resume writing and interviewing. Mr. Wilson shared key points that will help a candidate’s resume stand out as well as some major mistakes that actual candidates have made on resumes submitted to EBSCO. Mr. Kemper and Mrs. Gilbert put on a sketch for our students to demonstrate the differences between a good interview and a terrible one. The students were able to identify many of the good things done in the good interview and ALL of the unacceptable things done in the terrible interview. 

Jason English, Heather Moore, Lindsay Carlisle, and Tyler Novak answered questions about working in their departments. Finance, Accounting, EBSCO Capital, and Legal Department.

The last session inspired the kids to think about investing. Hardie Carlson, from EBSCO Capital, shared stories about himself and his family related to investing. He encouraged the students to think about how to make money work for them by investing early.

At the end of a long work day, the HASS students were inspired, and tired! Thank you EBSCO for giving our students so much time and attention and much to think about as they continue their education and think about future careers.

Reflections From First year HASS Student Jada Buckner

Jada BucknerMy first few days at HASS have been great. I have met so many new people and made lots of lifelong friends. I remember riding on the bus to Indian Springs School wondering what it would be like having a roommate and living without seeing my parents for a while. When we arrived, I fell in love with the campus immediately. The dorms, library, cafeteria, and gyms are very nice.

On my first day I was nervous about talking to all of the other kids, but my HASS family ended up making me feel so welcomed. We chilled in the common room, ate pizza, and laughed like we had already met. I met my wonderful advisors and teachers. We then visited the cafeteria and had our first dinner of baked spaghetti and squash. After that, we toured the campus so we could know our way around when walking to classes. Shortly after touring the campus, we decided to go have some fun in the gym. We played basketball and volleyball for about an hour. It was fun to socialize and play together which made my first day jitters vanish. After arriving from the gym we all got ready for bed and took our showers.

The next day I had my first breakfast in the cafeteria of delicious sausage biscuits, eggs, and fruit. After breakfast we went to our first class where we took a Practice ACT that would show our teachers what we need to work on and improve on before we leave HASS. I actually had fun taking the science section of the ACT. After taking our ACT, we went to lunch, and we ate tacos and macaroni and cheese.

After lunch, we went to Study Hall to learn about our Mock Trial. I discovered that I would be on the Plaintiff side. I studied the case and listed important facts about the case. After the Mock Trial, we came back to our dorms to socialize and take a breather. Shortly after our break, we headed to Dinner. We ate mixed veggies, rice, and beef tips with gravy. I really enjoyed dinner because it reminded me of my mom, and how my mom makes her beef tips and rice.

After dinner, we chilled for an hour, and then we did Team Building. We played games like Would Your Rather? and What’s the Lie. We also discussed our favorite movies. Team Building really helped me get to know my peers better. So far, I am having the time of my life at Higher Achievement Summer School!

HASS Move In Day

IMG_1556On Tuesday, May 31, our students boarded buses and Sumpter and Perry County and made their way to Birmingham. There were lots of hugs, last minute instructions from parents and well wishes from friends. Students arrived at Indian Springs and quickly settled into their dorm rooms for the next month. That evening, board members Anita Turner and Julie Ellis arrived with their families and a car load of snacks, fruit, and drinks. Teens ALWAYS appreciate extra food and HASS teens are no different. A competitive game of basketball helped kids get to know each other, release some nervous energy. Showers and bed time quickly followed.

Wednesday out students were up bring and early for everyone’s favorite activity -benchmark testing. All HASS students took the ACT test to establish a benchmark against which future progress can be measure. After testing, the real class work began with English, math, and life skills. Students were divided into their mock trial teams and practices begin tomorrow with coaches from Bradley Arant and Hare Wynne law firms.

What will tomorrow bring? Check back often and remember to follow us at #HASS2016.

HASS in the News

Advisory board member Julie Ellis and mock trial coach Ashley Peinhardt appeared on WIAT 42 to discuss the Higher Academics Summer School program.

HASS 2016 Is Almost Here

HASS staff and board have been very busy preparing for Summer 2016 and it is going to be better than ever! We currently have 18 confirmed students – eight returning and ten new – from Alabama’s Black Belt including: Sumter, Perry, Hale, and Tuscaloosa counties.

Students arrive on May 30 to move in to Indian Springs School dorms – their home for the next month. After unpacking, the students will have an opportunity to get to know each other better, attend a welcome reception hosted by Christian & Small, and then the work (and fun) begins.

Favorite HASS activities will be back including the mock trial with coaches from Bradley Arant and Hare Wynn, financial literacy classes with Bridgeworth, LLC, visits to area businesses including Daxko, Ebsco, and Colliers International, and college visits to the University of Alabama, Auburn University, The University of the South (Sewanee) and Middle Tennessee State.

We hope you will check back often for updates and spotlights on current HASS students, HASS graduates, teachers, sponsors, and HASS activities.

We can’t wait for HASS summer 2016!