Magazine article Techniques

Lorain County JVS

Magazine article Techniques

Lorain County JVS

Article excerpt

Lorain County Joint Vocational School in Ohio offers job training and preparation in a variety of fields, among them culinary arts. The school serves high school juniors and seniors from the Amherst, Avon, Avon Lake, Clearview, Columbia, Elyria, Firelands, Keystone, Midview, North Ridgeville, Oberlin, Sheffield-Sheffield Lake and Wellington school districts.

One of the career fields in which Lorain County JVS students are receiving individualized, hands-on learning experiences is culinary arts. This program trains students in all areas of food service and includes basic cooking techniques, baking, salad preparation, cafeteria operation and advanced culinary preparation.

When the National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education (NDCCTE) named the Lorain County JVS Culinary Academy an Exemplary Program for 2001, it called the program "a true career academy model based on integrated academics, a small community of learners and instructors, and multiple pathways to postsecondary education and careers within the hospitality industry."

NDCCTE also noted that the Culinary Academy is aligned with industry standards, has a state-of-the-art facility and is coordinated by a team of chefs and academic teachers. The Lorain Culinary Academy was one of the first secondary programs in the nation to earn the American Culinary Federation's Access ACF certification, giving its graduates the opportunity to become ACF Validated Culinary Graduates. The students can also earn National Restaurant Association certification in sanitation and safety, nutrition, and in the NRAEF ProStart curriculum.

The program is structured so that there are two sections of seniors and two sections of juniors in Culinary Arts, one section of seniors and one section of juniors in Bakery Pastry Arts, and one section of students in Hospitality Services. The 140 students alternate each week, taking academic classes one week, and doing lab work one week. There are three labs in operation at all times: culinary junior, culinary senior and bakery pastry arts.

According to Jan Heron, the supervisor of the Lorain County JVS Culinary Academy, the Hospitality Services program operates differently to accommodate students having diverse needs. They have a lab every day and academics every day. One day a week is spent at a local hotel and another day is spent at a retirement center. Through these work-based learning experiences, they reinforce their skills in food service, laundry and housekeeping. On the other days, they work in the Culinary Academy junior and/or senior labs.

Heron says that Hospitality Services Instructor Maurina Driscoll and Michele Resek, the special needs resource person for the academy, spend many hours after school working with the students who participate in the Knowledge Bowl Competitions, and Driscoll was recently recognized by ProStart and the State of Ohio as Educator of the Year.

INTEGRATING ACADEMICS

The Culinary Academy instructors (Senior Culinary Instructor, Chef Tim Michitsch; Junior Culinary Instructor, Chef Kristian Smith; and Junior and Senior Bakery Pastry Arts Instructor, Chef Chris Moore) work with the English, math and science instructors so that the academic content is completely integrated into the culinary arts curriculum and is at the college-prep level. …

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