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LOHS store shows Laker spirit


New campus apparel shop opening this fall

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego High School spirit wear sales staff include (from left): students Jordan Gambee, Brandi Paquette, Corrinna Winstead and Kyle Pataroque; and educational assistant Sharon Egli.Laker sweatshirts. T-shirts. Mugs. Stickers. Accessories. Lake Oswego High School students’ garden art. These are just a few of the items the new LOHS athletic apparel store will stock on its shelves when it opens on campus this fall.

The Lake Oswego School Board cleared the way last week for fundraising efforts to begin on the project, which is expected to cost around $70,000. The student-run, donation-supported business will be located in the foyer of the east gym area near the track, and it’s already off to a solid start: An anonymous donor plans to match the first $25,000 in contributions.

Spearheading the project is teacher Nancy Longman, whose Pathways Program students will run the retail store. The hands-on Pathways Program, located at three local schools including LOHS, teaches life and job skills to teens, such as handling money, counting inventory, interacting with customers and how to behave in a work setting.

“I’m not just teaching life skills students, I’m teaching any special education kid that needs work experience,” Longman says.

General education students will mentor Pathways participants in those valuable job skills — while learning leadership and also gaining their own understanding of retail.

“We’re working collaboratively to build skills for students with special needs,” Longman says. “We’re teaching to our strengths.”

LOHS marketing students also will be involved in the project, an endeavor that sprang from an enthusiastic source, Principal Cindy Schubert says.

“As a principal, with someone like Nancy Longman in my program, she tells me to jump, and I just ask, ‘How high?’” Schubert says.

There still are a few details to work out for the new retail store, and board member John Wendland asked about one of them at last week’s board meeting: “What do you plan to call this?”

One suggestion called out during the meeting: “Nancy’s Place.”

Longman says she’s planning on holding a contest to name the store, but she’s calling it Spirit Wear for now. There’s certainly been a good deal of community spirit surrounding the project.

Longman launched the store as a pilot program last year with a $3,500 grant from the Laker Club, paying for items that included shelving, a computer and a card reader. At the time, Pathways kids sold sweatshirts during lunchtime on Fridays.

Laker T-shirts and sweatshirts for years have been available by contacting the Laker Club spirit wear committee. The Laker Club’s sweatshirt sales sparked the store idea for Longman, and a program at Jesuit High School in Portland provided further inspiration. She’d already been thinking about giving the students a different kind of retail opportunity.

Joe’s Boathouse, a snack shop, opened four years ago to teach students similar skills, but seems to be more of an opportunity for freshmen and sophomores. The Spirit Wear project will involve more complex skills, such as computing higher priced merchandise sales and running credit cards, Longman says.

“A light bulb came on,” Longman says. “It was an ‘aha’ moment.”

The store will be open during school hours, like Joe’s, but also during football and basketball games — with the potential for opening during other sporting events as well. During registration, a table for the store will be set up in the hall.

“We also have an architect, contractors and parents who are helping with this project, so there is a lot of effort going into the apparel store,” Schubert says.

Learn more

For more information on how to support the project, email Nancy Longman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call LOHS at 503-534-2313 or visit or mail the school at 2501 Country Club Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
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