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IHM Students Add “Footwear Designer” to Resume | News

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IHM Students Add “Footwear Designer” to Resume
News, Schools

Footwear brand Cushe, a division of Wolverine World Wide, has added new local talent to their design team: students from the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in neighboring Grand Rapids, Mich. Using one of Cushe’s most popular product concepts as a template, 8th grade students were asked to create their own variation of the style. The winners were picked by the Cushe Marketing and Product Development team and sent in to production.   
The project started when Guillermo Perez, general manager of Cushe, visited his son’s 8th grade class to share insight to a career in footwear.  The class learned about product lifecycle, from an idea on paper, to production, and eventually the marketplace.  As part of the exercise, Mr. Perez challenged students to become the designers themselves. After reviewing the submissions, the Cushe team chose a boy and girl from each class to have their shoes made to fit them. The winning shoes’ specifications and details were then sent around the world: from Rockford to Cushe’s U.K. Design Nest for CAD design, and then to the Far East where the shoes were made. The shoes will be presented to the class winners on Friday, May 18th at 1pm at IHM school, located on the corner of Plymouth and Burton Streets, Grand Rapids, Mich.
“We treated this as a real product development exercise, and not just a school project,” said Guillermo Perez. “We actually took the designs and studied their commercial value and sales potential for real customers.  There were some really cool ideas and creative thought!”
“We are so very grateful to the Cushe team,” said Stacy Slomski, principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary. “This opportunity helped our students understand how the creative thought that goes into art works in tandem with the business world.  Critical thinking cannot be acquired in a vacuum -- the students need projects and directions, and Guillermo's brief presentation has opened a whole new door for the students.”

The winning students, as well as honorable mentions include:
Mrs. Perry’s Class:
WINNERS:  Jimmy Cain and Cailyn Callahan
Best: Drew Jacobs
Better: Will Perez
Good: Sean Campbell
Ms. Savillo’s Class:
WINNERS:   Harrison Rohen and Sophie Swailes
Best: Jared Mika
Better: Ben Trudgeon
Good: Jack Vicari

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