When he graduated from La Salle College High School in 1985, Tim McNamara thought he might want to go into business someday. Years later, while serving in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Lieutenant Commander and concurrently teaching middle school, he decided to start a summer hot dog business at the Jersey Shore.
``I really didn't know what the heck I was getting into,’’ he says, laughing.
In turning Bubba Dogs into a well-known Sea Isle City landmark, McNamara had to learn by doing, while suffering all the costs incurred by the inevitable mistakes. Now a teacher at La Salle College High School, his is just one of the life experiences he and Brother Tony Baginski, FSC, will present to students involved in La Salle’s first-year Global Business Concentration Program.
Global Business is the newest of what are now three concentration programs developed at the school in the past year. Like the IT Professional Concentration and the Engineering Concentration, Global Business students will take seminar courses, create professional portfolios and complete capstone projects. The program will include guest lectures, field trips, immersion experiences, site visits, and above all mentoring from La Salle’s loyal alums.
``The purpose of all these concentrations is to give the young men an insight into what the career possibilities are and also what the requirements are academically in college and to spark an interest and make a connection in the student’s mind between what’s going on within the four walls of a classroom and their future,’’ says Brother Tony.
That explains, says McNamara, why some of the concentration electives don’t, at first glance, sound very business-like. Students can choose electives in math, statistics, personal finance and also public speaking and East Asian Studies. Skill sets and world perspectives from the electives enhance what is learned in the core curriculum.
``The idea is for them to have more knowledge, to make better choices,’’ he says. ``Maybe they decide they are interested in East Asian Studies as a minor to their business major. So, they look for a college that offers that. After all, La Salle is a college prep school and these concentrations are truly preparing our students with a foundation that will set them apart from their peers at college.’’
McNamara and Brother Tony both joined La Salle College High School’s Social Sciences Department this fall as teachers. Brother Tony was the principal of Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh for the last six years, but actually began his career with an 11-year stint as a commissioned officer in the U. S. Coast Guard.
While in the Coast Guard, he earned an MBA and taught information systems in the business and management department at the Coast Guard Academy before leaving to become a high school teacher and administrator and ultimately joining the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
As the program develops, McNamara and Brother Tony are creating opportunities for the students to interact with alumni. Those interactions will take the form of guest speakers, site visits, mentors, and possibility short internships. The hope is to involve alumni at every career stage.
``For many of these high school students, it is beneficial to talk to somebody who's 25 years old and can say, ‘two years ago I started my first full-time job and here's what I learned,’’’ says Brother Tony. “’Here's what I did for interviews. Here are some things that I recommend. Here are some of the mistakes that I made that I hope you avoid.’”
``LSCHS has a very accomplished and supportive alumni group, men who are successful and want to help others succeed,’’ says Brother Tony. ``Everyone with whom we have spoken is very excited about lending their support and expertise to develop the Global Business Concentration into a program that excites the students and provides them opportunities for growth and insights that are unique to LSCHS.”
``This program is still very young, but there is a degree of momentum and enthusiasm behind it that has led to its popularity, and that bodes well for the future.’’
For more information, see: https://www.lschs.org/academics/concentrations-program