'Let's get it done'

Concession stand manager Haden Barnhart (right) trains Jeff McLane on the cash register as she fields a customer’s question at one of the Blackbaud Stadium’s concession stands Saturday night. Barnhart will graduate from Wando High School today.

Haden Barnhart surprises people so often she barely blushes anymore.

"Yeah, I get various comments," said Barnhart, 18. "People say how responsible I am for my age, or 'I could never have done this at your age.' Or sometimes, 'Your job is way too stressful for me.' "

You get that when you are unquestionably in charge, the supervisor of the busiest Blackbaud Stadium concession stand as a Wando High School senior. Barnhart will receive a diploma today along with the rest of Wando's Class of 2010 but already is a big step ahead of fellow graduates.

She essentially runs the food and beverage show at Charleston Battery minor league soccer games. And loves it.

"I like being so involved," she said. "I just think the events are so much fun.

I really look forward to working. If it's busy or if it's slow, I like the pace no matter what."

Memo to local business owners and managers: Keep this top athlete who works two jobs and excels academically on your radar.

Barnhart, in her second year as a supervisor at Battery games, plans to attend Clemson in the fall and major in Accounting.

Lacrosse, too

She might be able to teach a college Business 101 class. Barnhart frenetically advises staffers and volunteers, checks soda machines and stocks supply cabinets at Blackbaud Stadium. She typically hovers over groups from youth league sports teams or charity organizations that provide a concession-stand work crew in exchange for a percentage of profits on a given night.

"I keep them going," Barnhart said. "I keep them on their feet. I remind them what's going on, like 'Halftime in 10 minutes, so get ready.' "

That's not the half of it. Barnhart helps Battery Director of Food & Beverage Ops Bill Joye with set-up and planning duties.

"People come up to me and say, 'I can't believe you have a high school kid managing this thing,' " Joye said. "I say, 'I can't believe it either.' "

Joye hired Barnhart when she was 15.

"I started out working in a concession stand and I loved it right away," she said. "I worked my way up but it was a pretty rapid climb."

In her spare time, Barnhart played tennis at Wando and was one of the school's top lacrosse players this season. She also works at Cupcake in Mount Pleasant.

Eventually, Barnhart wants to go into event planning and manage "large events."

Such as Spoleto.

Major week-long Lowcountry attractions.

Big concerts.

"It would be fun to plan things like that out," Barnhart said. "I'm interested in all that goes into something like that."

The chores

As you might guess, all this is no accident.

Haden's mother Susan has an MBA degree and is a Certified Public Accountant. Her father, Scott, owns a pest control business. The Barnharts years ago insisted Haden and her brother Will, 16, do lots of chores.

Those left undone were not met with a loud voice, just an invoice.

"They just found out mom and dad charged if we had to be subbed out," Scott said, "and that we didn't work cheap."

So now Haden Barnhart makes sure there are enough hot dog buns to feed a professional soccer crowd.

"Haden has always been exceptionally organized," Scott Barnhart said. "She has always been very busy. She does not like to sit still. She'll just go and do it. Her way is 'Let's get it done.' "

Reach Gene Sapakoff at gsapakoff@postandcourier.com.

or (843) 937-5593.