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The icing on top

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"Chocolate Dreams," one of the two Imagine Prep designed cupcakes, up for sale on a Wednesday afternoon.

Katrina Ortiz

Katrina Ortiz

"Chocolate Dreams," one of the two Imagine Prep designed cupcakes, up for sale on a Wednesday afternoon.

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Nothing is a greater than being crowned as one of the Prep’s students of the month. The satisfaction and pride that comes with being recognized for the good things that you do is like no other. But did you hear? Being a student of the month just got a whole lot sweeter!

 

To kick off the new year, Imagine Prep has unveiled their partnership with Smallcakes, a local cupcakery on 13706 West Bell Road in Suite 14, to celebrate and recognize the students that go out of their way to do great things around campus. Principal Chris McComb explained how this union came into fruition.

 

“We have been looking to find local businesses to partner with through a program we are calling, ‘Friends of the Prep,’” McComb said. “The idea is to identify other partners looking for a mutually beneficial relationship with our school. We offer some advertisement opportunities through our social media outlets in exchange for providing unique opportunities for our students and/or a variety of financial payment options depending on what type of advertising they wanted to do for us. Smallcakes just happened to jump at the opportunity, both financially and with providing this unique student recognition program. This program is so new that we have not fully rolled it out, so Smallcakes is officially our first ‘Friend of the Prep.’”

 

Christopher Caldwell, owner of Smallcakes of Surprise, explained what it was like for his business to become Imagine Prep’s very first honorary friend.

 

“We kind of mutually reached out to each other,” Caldwell said. “Smallcakes of Surprise has been continually looking at ways to be more involved since we opened our doors in November. The biggest difference between us and other companies is that our owner, me, lives in Surprise. Therefore, I try to get more involved with the community. So when Imagine asked us to partner with them, we were more than excited. It’s been a great partnership.”

 

McComb described what this partnership with Smallcakes has been like thus far.

 

“Chris, the owner, has been wonderful to work with,” McComb said. “He has a passion for cupcakes, but also to the community in which his business is a part of. He enjoys celebrating our kids and reading the nomination forms. To show our support, we even held our Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting at his shop last month. I can say first hand, his cakes are really good!”

 

Katrina Ortiz
Just six of the wide array of delicious cupcakes Smallcakes has to offer.

 

If the cakes really are that good, then when do they get to come in? Well, when two students are selected as Imagine Prep’s Students of the Month, they are sent on a trip to Smallcakes, where they are given the special opportunity to name and put together their very own cupcake, which they will be able to take home that day. As the cherry on top, these cupcakes also get to be sold in store every Wednesday! McComb described the nomination process used to find the two lucky people that will get the chance to partake in this sweet treat of an opportunity.

 

“Teachers are emailed nomination forms and reminders that they must submit these forms by the 20th of each month,” McComb said. “The forms are simple; teachers write the name, grade, and a brief explanation as to why their nominee should be recognized as our student of the month.”

 

From here, Smallcakes gets the final say in who is crowned Imagine Prep’s Student of the Month. Caldwell explained how this works on his business’s end.

 

“After the teachers submit the nominees, I print the teachers comments,” Caldwell said. “Our staff reads them and votes on which student to pick. There have been some great candidates and we wish we could pick everyone.”

 

Eighth grader Chloe Lobmeyer, one of the two winners for the month of January, was the brains behind the “Plain Jane” cupcake, which features a chocolate cake topped with yellow frosting, sprinkles, and pretzel bits for that decadent sweet and salty twist.

 

Katrina Ortiz
Lobmeyer’s “Plain Janes” up for display.

 

Lobmeyer described what it was like getting to design a cupcake of her very own.

 

“When I found out that I got to not only design the cupcake, but also make the first one, I was beyond excited,” Lobmeyer said. “I don’t really bake, but the main chef there explained in great detail exactly what I would be doing and the main job of everything in the kitchen. They did set limitations on what I could do, specifically on what type of each item (i.e. toppings, frosting type, cake flavor). They had already baked the cake portion of the cupcake, so I was able to color the frosting yellow and put on the sprinkles and pretzels. They showed me around the kitchen and showed me where my cupcake would be displayed. I got to take the first four cupcakes home.”

 

Submitted by Imagine Prep
Lobmeyer tops off her cupcakes with some rainbow sprinkles.

Lobmeyer explained the creative process behind her cupcake.

 

“I feel like I have a very simple personality, which would partially explain the name,” Lobmeyer said. “The second part of the name, Jane, was from the other winner. She suggested it in the sense that Jane is a very simple and plain name. I also really love the color yellow and combining sweet with salty.”

 

Lobmeyer recalled what she most enjoyed about the special opportunity given to her by the Prep and Smallcakes.

 

“My favorite part was being in the kitchen,” Lobmeyer said. “It was my first time being in a professional kitchen and learning some of the cooking instruments and their uses.”

 

Caldwell also described what he’s enjoyed the most so far.

 

“I think having the students come in with their parents and physically create their own cupcake [has been the best part],” Caldwell said. “Seeing their smiles and creativity has been very gratifying.”

 

McComb described his thoughts on seeing this project come to life and what he is most pleased with.

 

“The best part of all of this is the opportunity to recognize and celebrate our hard working students,” McComb said. “Chloe and Elise were terrific choices for our first recognition and they were both so appreciative and excited to design their own cake. The fact that these cakes actually sell in the shop afterwards is the icing on the whole project!”

 

Submitted by Imagine Prep
Sixth Grader Elise Van Etten, one of the two winners for January, smiles with one of the bakers at Smallcakes and her “Chocolate Dream” cupcakes.

Unfortunately, all good things do have to come to an end. McComb explained that, though our arrangement is exclusive to the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year, he has high hopes for the future of it.

 

“For now, this partnership is for this school year,” McComb said. “However, after just one month, we and Smallcakes have had a great response from our families. We have been able to drive some business to their shop and our kids have the unique opportunity to create their own cupcake recipe, which is sold to the public every Wednesday of that month! How cool is that? If all continues to go well, we hope to continue this partnership into the next school year.”

 

Interested in being next month’s Student of the Month? To those interested in making their very own cupcake or just being recognized for the good that they do around campus, Lobmeyer recommended that they just be themselves.

 

“It may be really simple advice, but it’s true,” Lobmeyer said. “ I had no idea why I was selected for this opportunity, and I had done nothing out of the ordinary in the past few days. When you are being kind and caring, it will open up a lot of unexpected opportunities.”

 

Even if it may seem like it, no act of kindness truly goes unnoticed at Imagine Prep. So, don’t be afraid to lend that extra helping hand or do something to make someone smile! That extra dose of kindness is all it takes to make someone’s day a little bit sweeter and who knows, maybe your day will also turn out to be extra sweet when you find that your name is on Smallcakes’ next batch of cupcakes!

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