WHEATFIELD — Through the CTE programs at Kankakee Valley High School, there are many useful skills that can be learned before kids make their way off to the college setting. Jennifer Fase, a FACS teacher at Kankakee Valley High School, gave a little insight on the culinary program at KVHS.
Fase, a teacher at KVHS for a total of seven years, has a growing passion for everything family and consumer science, although, the start of her teaching career is different than expected of all FACS teachers. Fase spent three years teaching at DeMotte Elementary, then moved her way up to working at Kankakee Valley High School. She actually started her education at PNC, earning her bachelors in Elementary Education, continuing to study FACS content on her own, climbing her way up the tower of success, finally earning herself a position as FACS teacher at the high school.
Within Fase’s culinary classes, there are different levels of classes that one can move forward towards. In order to take the culinary classes as a freshman or sophomore, it is required that a student take Nutrition & Wellness, Advanced Nutrition & Wellness, along with Introduction to Culinary Arts. To move forward, they would begin to take Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management, then finally move on to Advanced Culinary Arts. Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management and Advanced Culinary Arts are most likely the most important and the most interesting in description.
Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management & Advanced Culinary Arts both give students a chance to focus on the future of the culinary world. In detail, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management includes learning the techniques of the restaurant industry, food safety and what it takes to be of service to customers in a restaurant.
Advanced Culinary Arts is currently an independent study, focusing on more of the marketing side of the food industry along with dishes that are harder to create. Students in the advanced class are automatically members of the school’s Hospitality Club, that caters for the press box during football, along with catering for the hospitality room during ISSMA. In this class, Fase tries to make it as realistic as possible to prepare students for the real world.
Throughout each and every class, they use the ProStart textbooks in their classrooms, from the National Restaurant Association, which was implemented into the course in 2016. Through the week, students will read a section of the textbook that includes many dishes. At the end of the lesson, students get the privilege to choose what recipe that they want to cook or bake in the lab. After a day of making sure the students understand all vocabulary, techniques, and the full recipe, they make their way into the lab to make a new creation!
Within every CTE class, there is a club that goes along with the career based class, and for the chefs of the high school...its FCCLA! FCCLA stands for Family Career and Community Leaders of America.
FCCLA allows students to take their skills and put it towards competition. This also allows students to discover how they could be leaders in their family, and foremost, their careers and communities. The Culinary Class at FCCLA has brought teams to the competition over the past three years, and in the past two years students Audry Wright and Quinton Miller both succeeded in their event earning $500 scholarships to the Art Institute through Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation.
Through this CTE program at KVHS, students not only learn how to cook and bake a large number of dishes, but they get a chance to implement these skills into real life situations, even when one is still in high school!