October 9-13, 2017 is National School Lunch week. Created by President Kennedy in 1962, this week is a celebration of the nutritious meals served to students every day that help them succeed in the classroom. Scott County cafeterias have planned many fun activities this week including special guests, festive decorations, theme days, and favorite menu items.
Students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Scott County High School transformed the school cafeteria into a classroom this week. “I love to cook and was happy to share this with our students,” stated Nutrition Manager Rachel Weatherly. “I think this is a great life lesson.”
Teacher Kristy Collins has worked with her class on knife skills, the importance of quality ingredients, and time management in the kitchen. The students usually prepare small batch recipes in a lab setting where they experiment with unique flavors.
Senior Samantha Eldridge took the class to expand her cooking skills. Classmate Alexis Pemberton wanted to learn to cook for her family while Kendrick Ellis is preparing for the Culinary Arts program at Sullivan University.
Despite a host of real-world applications in the classroom, it is difficult to provide experience in a commercial kitchen. Until now. Mitzi Marshall is Director of Nutrition for Scott County Schools. Marshall welcomed the opportunity to work with students. “They are working alongside seasoned cooks who do this every day. There is no better way to gain experience than in a commercial kitchen cooking for a large group of people.”
The large group of people includes more than 1000 of their peers who eat lunch in the cafeteria each day. The students were cooking from concept, according to Marshall. They prepared a unique entrée item, a build-your-own burrito bowl.
The nutrition staff at SCHS was on hand to show students around the kitchen, reinforce safety precautions, and keep them on track for the lunch rush. “They have an internal clock,” commented junior Colton Marshall. Marshall has experience working with chicken but his favorite thing to cook is chicken parmesan.
“It’s a lot different from where I work,” stated Grayson Schrack who works at Red State and dreams of opening his own barbecue restaurant one day. “The kitchen is a lot bigger and I usually prepare one plate at a time.” By their own admission, the students learned a lot.
“We learned how to work together to coordinate individual tasks and make it all come together in the end,” Pemberton continued.
Another exciting new offering for the Scott County High School cafeteria kicked off this week. Dinner is available free for any student who attends SCHS, Ninth Grade School, or Cardinal Academy and is served Monday-Friday from 3:40-4:15pm. The supper program is already offered at Anne Mason, Garth, Georgetown Middle, and Southern.
Culinary Arts students prepare a build-your-own burrito bowl for lunch at SCHS.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub serves lunch to SCHS students during National School Lunch Week.