BCS Advantage Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 21

Recipe for Success By Stacia Harris, Communications Department Students in the North Buncombe High School (NBHS) ProStart program are hard at work scrambling eggs, sautéing hash browns, and making biscuits from scratch. The setting for this delicious class activity is the school’s brand new teaching kitchen (technically called a Food Lab), and the project is part of Buncombe County Schools’ goal to graduate students “college and career” ready. The NBHS students tested out their new kitchen one early morning in February, serving a made-from-scratch breakfast for a district advisory council meeting. “The kitchens were updated to reflect the shift in Career and Technical Education,” says Amy White, North Buncombe High’s CTE teacher. “The name Home Economics changed to Family and Consumer Sciences because gone are the days of us teaching ladies to become ‘housewives.’ We teach skills for life, but also workplace skills. Western North Carolina is a tourism destination and these skills are in high demand in our local economy!” ProStart is a national course that teaches students the protocols and standard practices for working in a restaurant kitchen. To achieve this certification, NBHS students must take ProStart I and II and complete 400 internship hours! Then, they sit for 2 national certification exams. “Students see this course as real,” says White. “This doesn’t just simulate a home kitchen, it simulates a business. Students learn valuable job skills.” Junior Savannah Rice wants to own her own bakery one day. She says pursuing her ProStart certification has given her many opportunities to see the different careers available in pastry arts. “The learning curve is huge and the pressure can, at times, be very hard to handle. But seeing the finished product and watching people enjoy your product is completely worth it,” says Rice. North Buncombe, Erwin, and Enka High Schools all have new and renovated Food Labs this school year. The students are whipping up tasty food in modern facilities that replicate the industry standard. It’s a valuable learning tool, but st