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Farragut High students raise money for future goals

On most Wednesday mornings Ryan Seibe’s students at Farragut High School are out selling Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits.

Seibe’s Fundamentals of Leadership students do a lot of things to raise money. For example, the Farragut High School students will be hosting a Chamber of Commerce breakfast Friday, Feb. 17. The students plan to have a frisbee golf park installed at the school, create an alumni association and host a music festival with a “battle of the bands” structure.

Profit from the biscuit sales has paid for most of the start-up costs for the “businesses” the students have created.

But money isn’t what this new class is about.

“The class isn’t about business at all. What I’m trying to do is get students into leadership roles,” the Farragut High School English teacher said.

“I didn’t go into English because I liked grammar.” he said, “I got into teaching because I like kids. Teaching English was just a vehicle to do that.”

To show kids how to be leaders, he lets them take control of a money-making venture. He divides his class into four groups. Each group must come up with a viable “business.” Seibe said any extra money raised goes to the Farragut Education Foundation.

Fundamentals of Leadership is a class that grew out of Seibe’s former student club called Farragut Leadership Initiative.

Seibe said the 7:30 a.m. class retains the flavor of FLI, which was a fund-raising extracurricular group.

“We have so many phenomenal students here. I felt that we didn’t have enough forums to sharpen their leadership skills here,” Seibe said.

The networking breakfast Feb. 17 is designed to get local business people involved with the school.

“We are going to share with community and business leaders what we do here, what our needs are,” Seibe said.

The cafeteria will be catering, but the food will be paid for by money the class has raised, largely from the sale of Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits. Seibe said chamber members might see chicken biscuits on the menu that morning.

“I’m really excited about the danish, personally,” he added.

Seibe hopes to educate local business people about the foundation and the needs the foundation are trying to meet.

Seibe said the foundation has been raising money for about 10 years. The goal for this year is $100,000, and so far about $45,000 has come in.

This year’s focal project is buying computers for the math lab that can run up-to-date software.

Other needs Seibe mentioned include several teachers who have no classroom.

“They float,” Seibe said. “They have to go room to room.”

Another need is a part-time staff person to help maintain school computers.

Results of the foundation’s success last year include the purchase of new cafeteria furniture and funds to hire two teachers for advanced placement classes this year.


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