Salem-Keizer Public Schools’ (SKPS) online learning program, Enhanced Digital and Guided Education’s (EDGE) business program recently partnered with local small business, Proud Salemander to feature student artwork for its next line of products. This past fall, EDGE marketing students competed in a class-based competition utilizing industry-level software and marketing skills to design a product that tells a story about Salem. The winning design, created by Sprague High School student Abigail Johnson is now printed on a variety of products sold by Proud Salemander through their online storefront. All profits generated by sales of the exclusively designed stickers will be donated to Rainbow Youth, a charity selected by Johnson. 

Salemander Design Caption: EDGE student Abigail Johnson’s “taco bridge” design (left) was selected to be featured in a partnership with the Salemander in a competition with EDGE marketing students. EDGE freshman Julia Thompson’s “Alien” sticker design also stood out to the Salemander owner, Brooke Schelar as an honorable mention and will also be featured on the storefront.

Proud Salemander is a local Salem-centric business in Salem, Oregon owned by Brooke Schelar. Known throughout the Salem community, Proud Salemander aims to spread positive vibes and create work that supports community and optimism through locally crafted products utilizing designs that tell the story of Salem. 

“No matter what type of business you’re in,” said Schelar, “building connections and partnerships within your community is essential to creating and providing a product or service that can truly make an impact on that community. You will always benefit in some way from those moments of connection. For Proud Salemander, those moments fuel the work I do, which I hope in return will fuel my community in some way.” 

The SKPS EDGE program aims to provide students in grades K-12 with high-quality rigorous classes and well-rounded learning opportunities. The new partnership with the Proud Salemander is an example of how the program is connecting students with unique and meaningful learning experiences through online learning. 

“Considering all the chaos happening in the world, we think partnerships like these are vital to our success and learning as students,” said EDGE students Maya Campbell and Paige Huynh who participated in the marketing competition.  “It’s hard to navigate your life with everything being online, especially school, but this opportunity with Proud Salemander provides not only a learning opportunity but a real-life experience while benefiting our  community. When we see the passion and effort Brooke has for Proud Salemander, we believe it will  inspire students to find out what they are passionate about and what they want to pursue in the future.”