CTE students participate in MRA symposium

Four Career and Technical Education (CTE) students learned culinary and restaurant management skills first-hand from industry mentors during the Michigan Restaurant Association’s ProStart Student Symposium, held this month at Sysco, the event’s sponsor, in Canton, Mich.

Joined by their peers from around the state, the CTE Culinary Arts students were split into two groups; culinary and management.

Zac Holley of Farwell and Jessica Swosinki of Harrison were in the culinary group. “Zac and Jessica were given a list of ingredients from which they had to develop a menu, prepare the food, and present it to the entire group for our lunch,” said CTE Culinary Arts Instructor Heidi Rocha. “They also determined the cost of the recipes.”

Katlyn Brown of Farwell and Jaime Phillips of Beaverton participated in the management group. “After the industry mentor provided the students with a restaurant scenario, the students had to come up with a solution to the scenario and give a 10-minute presentation to the 150 people attending the conference.”

Rocha said while the students worked with the mentors, she and Culinary Arts Paraeducator Ron Rexer attended professional development sessions, including presentations by McCormick Spices and Dexter Knives. They also had the opportunity to share best practices with other instructors.

“The event was very rewarding for the students, Ron, and me,” she said. “I am extremely proud of the students for their determination, courage to speak in front of everyone, enthusiasm, and creativity.”

The Culinary Arts program is one of nine career and technical education programs offered to local high school juniors and seniors through the Clare-Gladwin Career Center. Students spend half of their school day at their CTE class and the other half at their local high school.

For more information about the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, please visit www.cgresd.net.