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GHS Business Education students visited by Santa's Village representatives

November 24, 2021
GROVETON — On Oct. 29, Groveton High School Business Education students were visited by guest speakers Melanie Staley and Christian Gainer. Melanie and Christian are "Third Generation Caretakers" of Santa's Village in Jefferson. The duo were asked to speak with Ms. Wanda Dami's Business Education classes, specifically Accounting, Marketing, and Small Business Management. Prior to their visit, students were asked to prepare a list of questions related to running a business.

When asked about how Santa's Village became an attraction, Staley and Gainer told the students about the wonderful history of Santa's, and how the roadside attraction was the brainchild of their grandparents, Normand and Cecile Dubois. This came about when they saw a deer cross the road in Jefferson in the 1950's and the idea of having a Christmas style theme park came to fruition. Students also asked about the levels of management at Santa's Village, what type of advertising and marketing campaigns are

used, and how they deal with absenteeism/tardiness.

Students seemed particularly interested in the foreign employees that are employed at Santa's Village and asked about the countries they typically come from, and what the legalities of having an employee from another country are. Some of the business students who were in attendance are employees of Santa's Village, and stated that they really enjoy making friends with people from other countries. Staley and Gainer both stated that many of their employees remain friends to this day because of their working relationships and people they met while working at Santa's Village.

Another question the students asked was, "Have you ever had any disgruntled guests and how do you handle them?"

Gainer took this question, and had the students' attention for quite some time with his

answer...that is until someone mentioned "the reindeer," and then the conversation was re-routed toward the care and feeding of one of their main attractions.

One of the last questions that was asked before they departed was "What do

you do when the park is closed? You must have a lot of time off?"

Staley and Gainer looked at each other and giggled before answering "We are always working. There is always something that has to be done while the park is closed!"

Staley and Gainer's visit to our classroom was an excellent gift. They were excited to see some of their employees in an "educational setting," and it was wonderful to hear about the "real" life issues that occur when running your own business. Groveton High School Business Ed students and Ms. Dami would like to thank Melanie and Christian for their time, as well as the Santa's Village shirt that has been hung up on the "Wall of Fame" in their classroom. The "Wall of Fame" will be a consistent reminder that

if you have the idea, the will, and the drive to succeed, you can achieve anything. As we invite more guest speakers to our classroom, it is our hope that "The Wall of Fame" will grow with company shirts.

Superintendent, Dr. Ronna Cadarette is proud of the work that our teachers and staff do to partner with local businesses to promote strong relationships both now and for the future of our three districts.

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