It was a ‘Page 13’ story that deserved the front
Jun 11, 2014 | 944 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Busy news days in this industry sometimes lead to an unfortunate predicament; good stories find their way to an inside page instead of getting the front-page placement they likely deserve.

At the Cleveland Daily Banner, it happens often.

That’s because ...

One, as our loyal readers know, we give top priority to local happenings whether it’s hard news, soft news, news features or some combination thereof; and in this town, there’s a lot happening.

Two, our newsroom staff takes second to no other area news outlets in providing for-the-record coverage of the entire Cleveland and Bradley County community.

Three, we provide what we believe is a needed balance in news reporting — the good with the bad and the bad with the good, and we take great pride in accenting the good because too many people in our hometown are doing too much good to have it ignored.

And four, our local story count — six days a week — makes it virtually impossible to give all stories their due credit and rightful placement.

One example came recently in a Tuesday edition dated May 20. Few readers may have realized our conundrum because to our knowledge — at least, according to our editors — we received no complaints.

Yet, it was a story that warranted a Page 1 salute because it spoke to a message that needs to be heard long and loud. It involved a group of teenagers at Cleveland High School who are learning entrepreneurship by running an in-school business and then reinvesting the profits back into the school and their fellow students through scholarships.

Some newspapers might “thumbs down” such a story. Some live by the arguable doctrine, “Bad news sells.” Not us. True, the human eye probably gravitates to the negative in headlines, but good news best measures the heart of a community and stands as a testament to the mindset of the people who call it their hometown.

Their stories also should be told. Frankly, they must be told.

At CHS, such a heartwarming story came with the Raider Trader, a school store that was opened by students and is run by students. And as the most recent school season came to its close, the store’s profits were aiding students in preparation for another round of business beginning this fall.

Placed in a box at the top of Page 13, this news article — eloquently written by staff writer Delaney Walker who handles the Cleveland City Schools news beat — pointed out the Raider Trader rakes in about $200 to $300 weekly in profit. All of it is placed right back into the store, the school and the student scholarships.

Scholarship recipients include students who have received high marks in the school’s entrepreneurship course, but other factors are also weighed in like overall GPA, volunteer hours in the store and a paper centered on leadership and work ethic in the class. The scholarships also are intended for students planning to pursue business or marketing in college.

Three students were the deserving winners of this year’s Raider Trader scholarships. The names of Crissy Semake, Britney Nimmo and Malik McDermott were announced at the recent Class Night as recipients. All reaped the benefits of hard work. Each learned the invaluable lesson of “team” and all launched a winding voyage down an avenue called “leadership.”

The recently completed year was just the beginning for Raider Trader and for the kids who will develop new strategies and innovative techniques in many school seasons to come. Next year alone, young entrepreneurs will lead the planning process. They will develop project ideas for the entrepreneurship course and they will identify new ways for the student-run store to benefit more students, the school and the expanding course.

We can think of many groups who will celebrate the success of Raider Trader and the students who have directed its path down a trail of business success.

One is the school. Cleveland High School benefits fiscally and in modern education relevance.

One is the teachers. Their tutelage showcases their talents in and out of the classroom.

One is the parents. Can you say “proud?”

One is the students. They are learning a new twist in education.

One is future employers. Anyone who follows today’s headlines knows this. Workplace readiness and employee accountability are no longer the exception; they are the new norm.

The young entrepreneurs behind Raider Trader are to be congratulated. Some are now CHS graduates filled with hope and anxious to pursue their higher education dreams. Lower classmen are enjoying a two-month respite from their studies while watching the calendar for the promise of August and a return to entrepreneurship training.

There’s nothing “Page 13” about these kids. All are front cover.

We wish them well in their new world of business, just as we hope for their success in this wonderfully crazy thing called life.