Sarah Davis keeps busy receiving and inventorying supplies and equipment as she prepares to teach the new culinary arts classes that begin later this month at Englewood High School.
“This is a partial rollout of our program,” Davis said. “We’ll offer a total of five classes in two different areas, catering and culinary nutrition. We’ll have 20 to 25 students in each of the five classes so there are very few vacancies in the program.”
The culinary arts classes that begin Jan. 30 and the cosmetology classes that begin in February at Englewood Middle School are being added to the curriculum to meet the need for a trained workforce.
Diana Zakhem, district director of student courses, explained in a report that education reforms have brought changes in high school career and technical education. The changes have shifted the focus from the traditional college preparatory curriculum to an educational pathway for all students that can connect high schools with the workforce as well as with colleges.
The district document on the new career and technical education program states that experts cited in published reports predict there will 47 million job openings by 2018. The predictions state about a third of those jobs requiring an associate’s degree or certificate, plus just about all job openings will require real-world skills that can be mastered in high school career and technical education programs.
Davis said in the fall, the January class subjects will become part of the two-year culinary arts program offered at EHS.
“Starting when school resumed after the summer break, students can take individual classes or enroll in the two-year program,” she said. “In either case, the students will earn EHS credits as well as credits from Metropolitan State University.”
She said the culinary arts classes probably will be a new experience for many students. However, she said there will probably be students in the class who cook at home or who have worked in the food industry.
Davis grew up and graduated from Evergreen High School. She attended Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, where she earned an associate’s degree in culinary arts and a bachelor’s degree in food service management. She also has a master’s degree in education.
“I have been teaching for eight years, primarily in the culinary arts program at Warren Technical School in Jefferson County,” she said. “I am pleased to be selected for this position. It is a fantastic opportunity to start a program from scratch. I am excited to get started.”
Davis said she also is excited the program will be taught in a new facility with state-of-the-art equipment.
The classroom and teaching areas are located adjacent to the high school food service kitchen.
“We share some storage areas and facilities with the high school program,” she said. “But our classroom and where students will be preparing and cooking food are separate areas.”
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