2015-07-02 / Front Page

LCHS to replace culinary arts with Food Science Pathway


Kelly Phillips, the instructor for the new Food Science Pathway at LCHS, is joined by a group of students as she inventories the lab. The students are (l-r) Thomas Yeager, Keyshawn Hunter, Tydric Wynn, and Josh Houck. Kelly Phillips, the instructor for the new Food Science Pathway at LCHS, is joined by a group of students as she inventories the lab. The students are (l-r) Thomas Yeager, Keyshawn Hunter, Tydric Wynn, and Josh Houck. LCHS will be phasing out the current Culinary Arts Pathway and implementing a Food Science Pathway during the 2015-2016 school year.

A pathway is a sequence of classes that prepares students for potential careers in a variety of areas.

With the departure of Lynn Gay, culinary arts teacher, school officials decided it would be a good time to reassess the pathway and make any needed changes.

“We decided to switch to a Food Science Pathway because it is more reflective of the population we’re serving,” said Stephanie Jordan, CTAE (Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education) director at LCHS. “We don’t have too many kids coming out of school wanting to be chefs.

“If fact, fewer than two students a year plan to continue their post sec­ondary education in culinary arts.”

Kelly Phillips, a former special education teacher, has been hired to teach the classes in the Food Science Pathway.

“We are excited that Kelly Phil­lips has agreed to take this position – she will do a fabulous job,” stated Jordan. “She will get the students in­terested in having fun with food.”

Essentially, the Food Science Pathway focuses instruction on healthier lifestyles and residential cooking. The courses that comprise the pathway and a summary of each class are as follows:

(1) Food, Nutrition, and Wellness. During this course, students will learn to: l Evaluate nutritional information in relation to wellness for individu­als and families. l Analyze factors that influence food choices and quality of diet. l Select, store, prepare, and serve nutritious, safe, and appeal­ing foods. l Analyze food safety and sanita­tion practices from production to consumption.

They will likewise research ca­reers related to food, nutrition, and wellness.

(2) Food for Life. The class teach­es students to outline the function of the digestive system and absorption process as well as develop nutri­tionally balanced diets for infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.

(3) Food Science. In this course, students will: l Explore the basic concepts of the chemistry of food science. l Examine why water and acidity are important factors in food prepa­ration and preservation. l Summarize why carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are important in food preparation and preservation as well as the nutritional impact they have on diets. l Investigate the reasons for the use of food additives and food analogs in food preparation and in processed products. l Investigate measures used to produce safe and wholesome food under sanitary conditions.

In each of these classes, students will demonstrate employability skills required by business and in­dustry.

Also, both the Food for Life and the Food Science classes can count as a fourth science credit.

“I believe this pathway will help students who are apprehensive about cooking,” said Jordan. “It may even spark an interest in attending college to become a dietitian or a nutrition­ist. If anything, students will gain a good foundation in cooking for families.”

It was noted that employment in this field is expected to grow faster than average through 2020 as a result of the increasing emphasis on disease prevention through im­proved dietary habits.

A growing and aging popula­tion will increase the demand for meals and nutritional counseling in hospitals, residential care facilities, schools, prisons, community health programs, and home health care agencies.

In other comments, the CTAE di­rector pointed out that the Food Sci­ence Pathway will provides students with instruction in ‘ServSafe,’ which is the industry standard for storing, preparing, and disposing of food.

In addition, the pathway will make use of the kitchen and adjoin­ing café that were utilized by the culinary arts classes.

According to Jordan, the Culinary Arts Pathway was industry certified, meaning that instruction met the standards and expectations set by industry. “Nevertheless, once we obtain industry certification in any field, if the teacher goes, so does the certification.”

She explained that at the present time, there are no industry standards for the Food Science Pathway. “However, they are in the works and will hopefully be in place in two years.”

The End-of-Pathway Assessment (EOPA) will consist of the ServSafe Handler exam.

Regarding students already com­mitted to the Culinary Arts Pathway, Jordan said, “For those roughly 20 students who need only one class to complete the pathway, that class will be available. A teacher is allowed to teach one class ‘out of area.’

“The down side is that the stu­dents who have taken Introductory to Culinary Arts will have to count it as an elective and start over with the Food, Nutrition, and Wellness class,” she continued.

Along with the Food Science Pathway, LCHS currently offers several vocational pathways to its students. They are:

(1) Science, Technology, Engineer­ing, and Mathematics (STEM).

(2) Audio-Visual Technology and Film (AVTF).

(3) Horticulture.

(4) Forestry Sciences.

(5) Construction. The focus is on carpentry, but if a student com­pletes this area of study, the school is equipped to offer him instruction in masonry, plumbing, and electri­cal work.

(6) Patient Care Services. By taking this pathway, students may obtain their CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certification.

(7) Public Health.

In conclusion, Jordan said, “These pathways give our students a taste of various areas they are interested in before they spend thousands of dol­lars taking classes in college. We are very fortunate – most systems our size do not have the wide variety of pathways that we do.”

Return to top