With Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School’s opening of a $3 million addition, students can study and create projects in a realistic business setting and a state-of the-art production studio.
The 13,181-square-foot space has 10 classrooms, including two that will be used for two of Faith Lutheran’s specialized academies: the Wealth Consulting Group (WCG) Business and Entrepreneurship Academy and the Film and Broadcast Academy.
The WCG Business and Entrepreneurship Academy offers project-based courses to give students experience in multiple business disciplines. Steve Buuck, the school’s CEO, said it sets Faith Lutheran apart.
“It’s kind of like being in a boardroom,” he said. “They’ve got all the technology, the New York Stock Exchange ticker going on, they’re following the commodities on the big-screen TVs. The room is not just five rows of five where you sit down and shut your mouth, but it’s a collaborative space where all the working areas are movable, portable, and so they can set up in variable (ways).”
The coursework is focused on entrepreneurship, market finance, economics and business leadership, and foundations of business. To graduate from the academy, students need to complete an internship or write a business plan, then start their own company.
Sidney, 14 and a freshman, is one of the business and entrepreneurship students. She said she wants to become a doctor and start a practice and is taking the business courses to help her run her office. That Stock Exchange ticker? It has special meaning for her. She already has invested in Amazon and Johnson & Johnson stock.
“I used my parents’ money: $3,000,” she said.
The Film and Broadcast Academy will expose students to the ins and outs of those businesses and give them experience with cameras, drones and teleprompters as they produce news broadcasts for the school’s in-house TV show. It has a green room for an in-studio experience. Students also can initiate their own projects, creating and producing films, live broadcasts, radio, podcasts and online content.
“We’re offering our kids a really unique program to dig into something in high school where, if they make a career out of it, great. If they (decide that) they don’t want to do that, then we’ve saved them two years in college not changing their major,” Buuck said.
Nikki Behjat, 15 and a sophomore, is in the Film & Broadcast Academy and is eyeing a career in directing and making movies with 3D animation. She said she had “no idea they were building this, so I’m really excited. The sound-editing room is really cool.”
Brayden Palluck, 16 and a senior, is also in the film program. He has been involved since his freshman year and has a short film, “Larceny,” that was recently accepted into the All American High School Film Festival. The eight-minute film took about a month to shoot. Had the rooms been available when he was making it, “it would have helped a lot. It would have been a lot easier to edit on one of the big computers. It would have been easier to do the audio, too.”
Palluck does not have a specific career goal in mind but said he wants to be involved with all aspects of filmmaking, writing, filming and editing.
Each program has about 100 students. Faith Lutheran’s enrollment is about 1,900. When it opened 39 years ago, in a small space downtown, it had 43 students. The goal is to have 3,000 students after it eventually expands across the street; there’s no timetable yet for that project.
Contact Jan Hogan at email@example.com or 702-387-2949.
Faith Lutheran reports that all members of its graduating class of 2017 are in college, with 93 percent at four-year universities or colleges.
2016 S. Hualapai Way