After 14 years of service to staff and students, the school store will close Sept. 18 due to decline in sales and profit.
Faculty sponsor Wayne Jacobson had difficulty scheduling enough teachers to supervise the school store. The lack of support as well as his five classes didn’t leave him enough time to manage the store, he said.
Jacobson, along with business administrator Eddy Campbell and principal Alan Goodwin, made the final decision to close the store about three weeks ago.
Campbell said he understands the time squeeze that Jacobson is in and the commitment that managing the store requires, including ordering supplies, keeping inventory and issuing deposits.
“It takes a very, very patient, diligent and organized person to run the store,” Campbell said. “Mr. Jacobson has done an excellent job.”
County dietary standards that capped the amount of a sugar and saturated fat in snacks also contributed to the store’s declining sales. The food restrictions limited the snacks that the store could sell to less popular items.
“Let’s face it, kids like sugar,” Jacobson said.
The Viking Café, which currently operates in the same space as the store during 1st and 2nd period, will remain open. The shop is a part of the Learning for Independence program and sells coffee, bagels and muffins to staff. School supplies will be sold in either the main office or the financial office.
Senior Bela Oehser, who has worked at the store along with seven other students this year, said he is upset that he can no longer spend his lunches working at the school store.
“It was a good opportunity to get some work experience and some community service,” he said.
Former store faculty sponsor Demitra Marafatsos, who has worked at Whitman since the store opened, said that she also laments the closing of the store.
“I’m sad to see it go,” Marafatsos said. “I think it’s a landmark in every school.”