If there was a “game changer” for the IBP, it was the Warrior Warehouse School
Store which provided a tangible and symbolic asset / icon and a steadier income
The store’s main benefits were to move the retail operation out of the classroom,
serve as a laboratory for marketing, and showcase program and company
objectives. But the store was always a company goal from the days of the
first business plan. A truly unexpected “game changer” was web site www.actco.org,
an idea that presented itself to us in a very convenient manner early in 1995.
At that time, I was the Chair of the Atlanta – Rio de Janeiro Sister City
Committee and attended an Atlanta Sister Cities Commission workshop on
educational and cultural joint projects. Madeleine Padgett, a former
student of mine, had been commissioned by the Atlanta – Toulouse Sister City
Committee to develop a home page for the group. I was immediately
intrigued by Madeleine’s creation and peppered her with questions on how the
web page was constructed and whether high school students could be trained to
construct web pages.
This was at least five years before the wiring of Atlanta’s classrooms – any web
page development was going to have to be privately financed by the
program. That included the web master’s fees and monthly cost of using an
internet provider organization. Fortunately, we had the money to commence
with the internet education program as the benefits of email and a web page to
showcase the IBP and ACTCo were
Madeleine offered her web development services to me and the IBP students and became the
program’s first web master and internet education instructor. She
pioneered the concept of teaching seminars to instruct IBP students in the use
of html and web design. The notion of e-commerce began to circulate and
soon ACTCo was developing an e-catalog to promote our product lines and later advertise the Warrior
Madeleine’s schedule soon became too busy to continue as web master and she recruited her
boy friend and later husband Arthur Rahn to take over. Arthur was
extremely knowledgeable in the use of html code and was also a patient instructor
who had a knack for working with teenagers.
Madeleine and Arthur steered the IBP to use Mindspring, a relatively new IPO started by
Charles Brewer. Monthly web hosting site costs were usually $80 per
month, about $150 per month in today’s money.
Picture of Arthur Rahn, student James West, and myself engaged in an IBP “Webbers”
instructional seminar to learn how to write html code and use gifs to develop
their web site.
At first, the internet and constructing web pages were a big mystery to most
students. Arthur had to begin at base 1.
One of the Webber’s first projects with Arthur Rahn was entry into a CyberFair
competition that was sponsored by film maker George Lucas. The IBP
figured that the program’s early embrace of an e-commerce themed web site was
an automatic winner. Wrong – the CyberFair preferred student groups that
produced search engines and similar ventures. That was our last CyberFair
The cost of training the Webbers and maintaining the internet connection and web
site hosting drained the program and company of needed capital. Three
developments occurred that helped:
1 – AT & T, from 1997 – 2000, and the CIBER at Georgia Tech from 2000 –
2003, each provided the IBP with three consecutive $1,200 to $1,500 annual
grants to pay for Mindspring’s monthly
hosting, email and extra bandwidth charges,
At least one student per year that was savvy in html and web page development began enrolling in the
program to sharpen their skills and assumed the role of the web master,
The APS eventually wired the classroom to be plugged into the APS email system and permitted the
IBP to place the web page on the APS server to escape Mindspring’s monthly charges.
Despite annual pleas from the IBP to Mindspring to please lower the cost to an
educational program and student run enterprise, the IPO refused to charge us
any differently than from other subscribers. Mindspring even brushed
aside pleas from CIBER at Tech professors to subsidize our web site.
Montego Bay High School was hosting Super – Exchange II in April of 1997 without
benefit of email. I tried to help ease their organizational challenge by
requesting AT & T, who was a major phone service provider in Jamaica, to
install a dedicated line into Montego Bay H. S. to connect them to the
internet. The IBP worked jointly with the Atlanta – Montego Bay Sister
City Committee to facilitate this goal. The connection eventually was
provided but not in time to host Super – Exchange II.
The CIBER at Georgia Tech became a second advisory board. Dr. John McIntyre
and his team advised the IBP on the curriculum, the focus being international
business and trade development. The CIBER encouraged IBP network
expansion by trying to link us with a Georgia Tech special program in Metz,
France. Most important was funding internet education with three
consecutive annual grants.
IBP students were expected to identify by memory all of the countries and major
cities of the East Asia region – map test was taken and averaged until mastery.
The International Trade component for the International Economics course was
obtained from the Univ. of Connecticut CIBER (Center for International Business
Education & Research). Approximately two dozen CIBER’s are located on
American university campuses. In Atlanta, Georgia Tech included a CIBER
which is now located on the campus of Georgia State University in downtown
2 Test Answer Key:
c 2. c 3.
a 4. c 5.
a 6. a 7.
d 8. c 9. d – multiple
t 2. f
3. f 4.
f 5. f
6. f 7.
t 8. f
9. f 10. t
nr 2. nr 3. nr 4.
nr 5. nr = at time, nr (not resolved) or resolved regarding 5
key issues – EU farm subsidies, tariff-free internet, worker’s rights,
human rights, tougher environmental standards – in 2001. Frankly, 12
years later, these issues are mostly still a long away from being
Today we would add to the instructional objectives: How have European economic
and monetary leaders handled the Great Recession that started in 2008 and is
still stressing the European Union? (European leaders have been accused
of using austerity measures during a time when Keynesian spending levels is
usually employed. Many economists agree that the U.S. may be emerging from the
recession and experiencing declining unemployment faster than Europe because of
deficit spending instead of austerity measures which are causing great economic
pain in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and perhaps soon Italy and
American students are frightfully ignorant of geographic place location because the
majority of school systems don’t require it – instead, supposedly integrate
geography into the history and political science courses which is rarely the
case. Today’s teachers are afraid of demanding that their students take
map tests and actually have to memorize a list of countries, major cities, key
physical geography items.
The 10 nations that
have most recently entered the EU.
The one country that
is considering leaving the EU because of economic pain caused by European
monetary austerity measures.
3 Test Answer Key:
d 2. d 3.
c 4. b 5.
a 6. d 7.
a 8. b 9.
b 10. c 11. d
12. b – matching
f 2. f
3. f 4.
t 5. f
6. f 7. t
8. t 9.
t 10. f
4 test answer key:
Nicaragua is still at peace, the Sandinistas are back in power for the third time, Daniel
Ortega is also again president, for the third time too. Lincoln International was a school becoming less international and more catholic and thus not a great fit for the IBP. However, the academy did provide the North Atlanta IBP delegation
with great hospitality, exchange support and a terrific itinerary. We are grateful to Lincoln
International for good times in Nicaragua and a bit wistful that the
partnership did not work out.
The Atlanta – Salcedo (Dominican Republic) Sister City Committee, Victor Ramirez,
Chair – has participated in three super – exchanges. Over one spring
break, Donna Jimenez chaperoned a group to Salcedo and Sharon Morrison led
another group to Montego Bay. Each was empowered to buy goods from local
artisans / merchants for resale back home.
Republic goods invoices:
exchange good purchase invoices:
check represents the second year in row that the IBP ACTCo received an AT &
T grant for internet education.
In my opinion, HP Printers for most of the 1990’s were the
best – my HP 4L, a laser purchased in 1994, lasted 6 years and probably printed
more than 10,000 pages. As the program
grew, we obtained the computers we needed but not the
printers. Arthur Rahn met HP rep Shane Howell, a nice fellow, at a business
meeting, told him about our need, Mr. Howell encouraged us to submit a
request. We asked for top of the line printers listed below.
The printers were beautiful and fast – there was only one
problem – they did not work. All of our efforts to get them up and running
were thwarted. Mr. Howell, feeling badly, put us in touch with a Vancouver, Washington-based
department which sent us the following parts that would supposedly activate the
An APS computer specialist was assigned to the program to
help us install the new equipment and get the printers working. Our very
determined efforts again proved to be in vain. The computers never did work despite more than
$2,000 of invested equipment and time. This was a sign of HP’s decline
until they purchased Jerusalem-based Indigo, a digital printing pioneer. HP is once again a showcase
for specialized printing applications.
The program was in need of a t-shirt company to help us
design shirts that would capture the school market. We found A 2 Z
Recognition Products in the Yellow Pages.
Mike came right to the classroom to help the students design
shirts, teach them lessons on t-shirt economics, help them manage this part of
the business. Mike, a true friend of the program, became a member of the ACTCo Board of
Directors. We did many thousands of dollars of business with Mike and A 2
Z over a ten year period. Product was high quality, attractive, and delivered in timely
ACTCo’s most complete inventory taken in 2002:
Week of September 11, 2001:
Terry Fox Secondary
Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
The free-wheeling, super-empowered way of the IBP was
sustained by ACTCo’s business growth and significant APS financial resources.
Apparently, this dynamic may have pressed into the centralizing trends of
the APS under Dr. Beverly Hall, the new Superintendent. Dr. Frutiger and
I began anticipating a chipping at the precedents and covenants the program and
company had accumulated. The first step of bringing us under greater
control was to close down the company’s checking account. We were able to
deposit grosses, process awards and grants, make expenditures all without going
through the system’s financial controls. Of course, that would have
slowed us down terribly and eventually put us out of business. Doug
Frutiger and I managed to keep that account for another year.
International Business Program for High Schools (IBPHS)
Board of Directors: Dr. John McIntyre, Dr. Douglas Frutiger, Dr. Lee
Friedman, Mr. Bruce Gaynes
Random examples of ranges of grades and averages selected
(at random) from IBP classes with names withheld