Indian Prairie Educational FoundationEnriching Education for District 204 Students

Marketing Class in the News

The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation is proud to have provided funded for the fourth straight year to make the following program possible.

‘Wine and dine on Route 59’ takes top prize in Naperville-Aurora marketing contest.

By Jane Donahue
Naperville Sun

A plan to “shop, wine and dine on Route 59” proved to be a winning combination for a group of Waubonsie Valley High School marketing students on Tuesday.

Students Harper Cole, Kate Johanns, Madalyn Reidy, Campbell Taylor and Alycia Wylie were named as overall winners on the Route 59 Corridor Project, a two-month assignment that challenged students to develop a marketing and advertising campaign for the Route 59 corridor between 75th Street (in Naperville) to Jefferson Avenue/Liberty Street (in Aurora).

“The project was really hands-on and we got to develop it from our own ideas,” Waubonsie Valley junior Kate Johanns said.  “A lot of times in class we are told what to do and (are given) ideas, but not on this.  We decided how to approach the situation and then executed a plan.”

About 300 marketing students from Waubonsie Valley, Metea Valley and Neuqua Valley were given a virtual budget of $500,000 and tasked with taking what they learned in class and applying it to the 2-mile stretch of Route 59.  On Tuesday, the top team from each school pitched their winning proposal to a panel of 10 judges – including the mayors of both Naperville and Aurora – in the Council Chambers of the Naperville Municipal Center.

“We hope the students take away the importance of collaboration, impact of rethinking ideas, using data to help make decisions, and the role presentation plays in your idea or pitch to your audience,” said Brian Giovanini, director of elective curriculum for Indian Prairie School District 204.

This is the fourth time in four years that District 204 has partnered with city officials and business professionals to provide an authentic marketing assignment.

“I really feel this is a powerful project because of the connection with the local community and marketing professionals,” Giovanini said.  “Working with the City of Naperville and (the City of ) Aurora has been a great partnership and gives students an authentic audience for their work.”

In turn, students develop collaboration and leadership skills.

“We worked closely together so had to get really good at working in a group and (understanding) group roles and different types of people,” Johanns said.  “We worked on presentation skills and it really helped me develop confidence.”

The five-member Waubonsie Valley group branded the area “Crosstown Corridor,” and created a print, radio and television advertising campaign along with a website and social media campaign.

“It blows you away when you realize they are in high school; these students were taking multi-channel marketing ideas and putting them into real-life concepts,” said Kamala Martinez, chair of the City of Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission and part of the panel of judges.

“The really encompassed all that marketing has to offer to bring the best to Naperville, Aurora and the Fox Valley.  Kudos to our school systems.”

The Metea Valley team, made up of Kendall Zavadovics, Grace Butler, Inara Pirani and Matthew McCrary, presented “Fox Valley Marketplace” and Neuqua Valley’s Nolan Clifford, Dan Conway, Tyler Henderson, Ethan Lockwood, Saachin Parekh and Christina Pellegrino campaign was titled, “Fox Valley Shopping District.”

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