The science teacher is also a venture capitalist. The cafeteria is a business run by the tenth-graders, just like the school supply store. In English class, freshmen learn Shakespeare along with the importance of writing a comprehensive business plan. Brown-nosing students replace shiny red apples with stock tips.

This doesn't sound like any school you've heard of because there is only one like it, but even this school, in its present form, doesn't live to this potential "” yet.

But John Morris just asks for the chance.

Two years ago, Morris was a 33-year-old entrepreneur behind a handful of businesses, including Earthwell Energy Services, created under the corporate canopy of Dayton Power and Light Co. While he sought his next opportunity, he read about a new entrepreneur high school being planned in Cincinnati Public Schools. He loved the idea and contacted the district. Within a couple weeks, he was the school's new principal.

The school was created to mirror the performing arts school model "” students study the core academics like English and science, but instead of learning to put on a play, they graduate knowing how to create and run their own business. But since starting the position, Morris has had to use every entrepreneurial skill in the book.

Cincinnati Public Schools didn't hand him an existing program or even his own school building. Instead, the Entrepreneurship High School is located in a tiny corner of Jacobs High School, situated in a raw, urban setting. Last year, its first, few of the students in the school wanted to be entrepreneurs; they simply had nowhere else to go. Morris had taken a job akin to the plot of The Bad News Bears. He was being asked to take a group of kids growing up in not exactly a white-collar world and turn them into future CEOs.

When asked about his lowest moment at the school, he sighs. "That's easy," he says. "I spent half of last year working on securing grant funds to buy 30 new computers. A week later, they were all stolen."

The thief or thieves broke a window and then simply walked out the door. They were never caught. While Morris had an extensive warranty, the computers weren't insured for theft.

"It still hurts to talk about it," says Morris, growing quiet. But since then, he has rebounded. The school has 12 desktops dispersed in every classroom, inaccessible to thieves.

Morris doesn't miss his old life. "What I'm doing is more challenging than any business I started," he says. "And while there are more headaches, there are more rewards."

For example, on the first day of school, when approximately 80 students showed up for their freshman year, the sign for the school was a piece of paper. Today, it hangs over one of the doors at Jacobs High School in professional bright blue. It looks like it belongs on a storefront.

Morris is trying to secure space for the school downtown, near the real corporate action. In the meantime, he's given the students lockers (last year, they were denied even that), and the hallway walls were painted in what he calls an "easy green." The message being if you work hard, it'll be easy to make money. He established a resource room for students who need extra help, and a parent resource room where mothers and fathers can read books about starting a business. Meanwhile, the school receives free subscriptions of business magazines. Morris managed to get furniture donated from a bank for his office and, most importantly, he has "the best staff in the world," first-rate instructors who are committed to the entrepreneurial cause.

The high point for Morris was when his school participated in a business plan competition with Northern Kentucky University last year.

Morris held an internal competition at his school, which now has 160 students, to find the best business plans to compete at NKU. What he received from the students, however, was "lousy."

But Morris advanced several students to the next round, and they all delivered superior business plans. The students he brought to NKU "dressed to the nines. They had product mockups, they blew us away and blew the judges away, who couldn't believe these were ninth-grade students."

His students initially turned in subpar business plans because they were used to failure. "They don't put effort into anything unless they think it's possible that they just might succeed," he says.

But day by day, the kids are learning what it takes to become a success. They're taking typical classes like math, social studies, English, physical education and French, but each year they also have an entrepreneurship class, which is designed to have the students running a business before they graduate. "We have some interesting discussions," says Morris, who occasionally pops into a class to observe and throw out a little insight. "We've had to talk about what constitutes a legitimate business. One student said he wanted to sell music that he had downloaded onto CDs, and he didn't get why he couldn't do that until I said, 'Well, it wouldn't be right for me to take a paper of yours and sell it, would it?' "

The students also take a character education class, which includes filling out a daily planner, allocating how they spend time after school and molding good habits. But like any entrepreneur, Morris is unsatisfied with the status quo. He's seeking corporate partners who can help the school, and he's accumulating grant opportunities. He secured a big one last year from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which granted him the money for those 30 computers and continues to work closely with the school.

Morris wants to make Entrepreneurship High School not just a first-rate incubator for entrepreneurial-minded students, but to take his model elsewhere in Cincinnati, and then Columbus, Cleveland or Toledo, and eventually the nation. "We need to have another alternative for the students who aren't making A's but who still have a lot of potential," Morris says.

He uses himself as an example. "I was a lousy student, but I was a good entrepreneur."