The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

CASTLE Runs Behind-the-scenes Print Shop to Aid Teachers, Teach Vocational Skills

Julia Towell
CASTLE students pose in the print shop

Tucked into its corner behind the main office, the CASTLE Lounge has existed relatively separate from the rest of the school for a long time. This year, it started its journey toward emerging with the opening of a CASTLE-run print shop. The lounge may soon become a hub for printing the worksheets, tests, Scantrons and other paper materials students use daily.

CASTLE directors Kaysie Gruenkemeyer and Jo Reed came up with the idea for the shop in December, and they launched it a few months ago with their students.

“The plans right now are that we are taking orders from teachers,” Mrs. Gruenkemeyer said. “We’re doing any copy-jobs, laminating, hole-punching, any organizing – that kind of thing.”

Mrs. Gruenkemeyer and Mrs. Reed see the shop as a way to expand their pre-vocational program beyond the Tiger Den. It teaches clerical skills for an office environment, whereas Tiger Den focuses more on service skills.

“My goal as a teacher, one of my primary focuses, is to work with students so that whenever they graduate they have the skills that they need to be employable in the community and be as independent as they can be,” Mrs. Gruenkemeyer said.

And the shop meets a need for the school, too. Mrs. Gruenkemeyer said EHS has “so many teachers here and not enough copiers,” and teachers often waste time waiting for copies to print. Assisting busy teachers has been rewarding for both the teachers and students behind the print shop.

“It’s fun to take a big order to a teacher and see how appreciative they are of that,” Mrs. Gruenkemeyer said. “Something we copied last week, I think it was a final exam, took over an hour to run through the copier. That was an hour that we gave back to a teacher.”

CASTLE students freshman James Kilby and sophomore Cole Spears said making deliveries is their favorite part of running the shop. All the students love when people come to their “drive-thru window,” which looks into the CASTLE Lounge, to place an order. 

“I like feeling proud of my work,” freshman Izzy McGee said.

Senior Wesley Stone’s favorite part is getting to meet new people through order placements and product deliveries. Those opportunities for connection are a “window into CASTLE,” according to Mrs. Gruenkemeyer, and they provide a more interactive relationship between the school and the print shop workers. 

In August, CASTLE hopes to expand the print shop. They have an online ordering system ready to replace their current paper order-form. It will be unveiled next year and hopefully make the ordering process more efficient.

The shop also plans to take over production of ROAR tickets and hall passes next year, and sometime in the future, they may start selling products to the student body out of their drive-thru window.

“That’s maybe years down the line, but we can do a lot of cool things,” Mrs. Gruenkemeyer said. “We’re thinking school spirit: stationary, folders, anything you can think of that we can print on.”

The print shop strives to grow in order to better prepare its workers for their prospective careers, and to show EHS that CASTLE students can benefit the school through their work.

“We want to be visible. We want to be out there,” Mrs. Gruenkemeyer said. “We make deliveries for that very reason. We have our window out into the hallway just to be more visible and show people that we can do great things, too.”