Wallace High School Feature

Front Page Summary: 

A large TSA chapter in a small town is creative and successful in its fundraising efforts.


The Wallace High School (Idaho) TSA chapter is heavily involved in fundraising to support the costs involved in getting 32 members to the Idaho State Conference and national TSA conferences. TSA is a good match for career and technical education of the students and Wallace High School. When considering the options for CTSO chapters at her school, advisor Corki Mattila “thought TSA offered more in addition to STEM education through the many leadership components. My students love leadership activities and really buy into the concepts learned.” The chapter is already working diligently to attend the national TSA conference in Baltimore, Maryland this coming summer.

The biggest fundraiser the chapter is working on aligns with the Idaho state contest, Manufacturing Open. Teams of four students use recycled pieces of end tables, cabinetry and plywood to create huge greeting cards for birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, etc. The teams cut plywood, paint and seal the picture, drill a hole to hang them up, and add text greetings and rent the “cards”. They rent for $25.00 on the school grounds and $30.00 if they have to be delivered. The chapter can reuse the “cards” and plans for this to be an ongoing fundraiser for years to come. “It has been a tremendous amount of work for the team, but well worth it as a solid fundraiser that no other club or group has done in our school or county,” said Tanay Nicholson, Idaho state officer and Wallace High School TSA chapter member.

“We change the announcement and pictures and difference aspects of each one to make it personalized. We have 6 total greeting cards right now and plan to create one or two more,” said Ms. Nicholson. The chapter has rented the greeting cards five times this year so far. “We are trying to advertise via the school’s web page and the school TV channel. We may also include a flyer that will be placed in students’ grade packets to advertise the cards to parents,” Ms. Mattila said. Cards are placed on the school grounds for a week at a time and secured to something stationary with a pad lock. The student body knows that these are the work of the Wallace High School TSA chapter and the cards remain unharmed.

Although people don’t always quite understand the concept of the greeting card, word is getting around. Wallace High School Principal, Matt Coleman has ordered cards twice for his children.  "My kids felt so special when they saw thier birthday cards in our yard," said Mr. Coleman.  One of the high school’s administrative staff rented a card for her wedding anniversary. A school board member rented one for his wife and a downtown restaurant rented one for a Halloween party.  Prinicipal Coleman said he's been seeing more and more greeting cards around town.  "It's a great way to promote our school and TSA chapter to the community.  Plus, it teaches the TSA members great business skills," he said.

Advisor, Corki Mattila, has been invited to attend the upcoming monthly Principal’s Athletic Directors district meeting with Principal Coleman to make a presentation to about 25 area principals. “This will give me a chance to really highlight what we are doing in TSA,” she said.

The chapter is also in the process of designing a program whereby former Wallace High School graduates are asked for a donation in exchange for a chance to receive a weekend stay at hotel located in Wallace, Idaho, which is on the National Historic Register and recently made national news as one of the top ten small towns to visit. The chapter hopes to design a web page to advertise the program which will link to the Wallace All Class Reunion page. “We are planning to contact 800 former graduates of Wallace via e-mail and through a newsletter going out soon,” said Ms. Mattila. The students are currently providing the administrative tasks for the newsletter mailing in exchange for the opportunity to include information about the TSA chapter and the “weekend getaway” event. “The requested donation will be $10.00 each and we will limit the total number of possible donations to 150. The weekend will cost us about $400.00 leaving us with a profit of $1100.00,” said Tanay Nicholson.

“We’ve never done a fundraiser that the kids are so excited about. Wallace is not a big town. It can be difficult to keep knocking on the doors of the local community for financial support for the chapter. This is a cross-generational event and allows for funds to be raised from alumni from all over the United States,” said Ms. Mattila.

The graphic design/screen printing business managed by Ms. Mattila’s classroom has had a profit of $375.00 so far this year through the sale of homecoming shirts. The chapter plans another shirt sale for a basketball tournament early in December. They are also hoping to do iron-on items such as mugs, bags, shirts, mouse pads, and magnets as holiday gifts.

“TSA has changed my classroom. It has made me a better teacher and made my students better students. Everyone participates and follows the rules for completing assignments and projects successfully. TSA has raised the bar in my classroom. I may not be familiar with all the aspects of all the TSA events but my students want to do new competitions, so I learn with them,” said Ms. Mattila.