Food For Thought

You are what you eat.

El Cocinero.

The new Culinary Arts Program here at Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District is in its third year. Recently I was interviewing for a position at another school district in San Antonio and was asked what I thought my biggest failure was. I replied, "My first year of teaching." Mid-way through my first year I completely shut down and honestly I did not know what to do or how to proceed. I also shared that the day after the last school day for students I found a letter on my desk that was written by one of my students. The letter began, "You are the worst teacher ever..." I read the typed letter several times, took copious notes and I will cherish that letter for the rest of my life and I explained that as I read the letter, I thought to myself that this student does not even realize how much he is helping this program grow and how much he has helped me become a better teacher. (I still have a long way to go) I continued to share during the interview that on the first day of school my second year, I read that letter to all of my students and explained that there will be many difficult situations ahead of them and that it's who you are at the end of those difficult situations that carry the day. I suggested to my students that they do have a voice in their classroom and that I considered what the student said in that letter portrayed leadership qualities even though it was hard to read at times to say the least. The day after the last school day of this year, I received another letter. The letter was from a student who shared and thanked me for helping to shape him into the person he is today. I received an offer letter from the district in San Antonio the following day and through reflection about what is important for me and what I want to do, have decided to not accept the position because our students and community here in Uvalde have everything to do with who I am as a person today and I will continue to do the best I can for those people around me. I believe we all are part of the chain reaction that is education and am looking forward to another year.


Our third year will bring exciting new possibilities for our community and for our student body, i.e., a community garden at our Benson campus, new partners in our community that will help expose our students to the life of hospitality and food reviews for our local restaurants written by aspiring journalists and of course opportunities to expose our students to real, whole food and real and whole life experiences. A continued source of inspiration for me are my students, especially Efrain Galvan who left us too early. I will always remember his "ready to learn" attitude everyday... I want to thank the community of Uvalde for embracing and supporting such a wonderful program, especially Dr. Ball who saw something in our ability to dream big, it's what I do well and owe it to my parents, thanks mom & dad!

New Certifications

Every year, every student, in each of the classes offered in this program will have the opportunity to attain the Texas "Serve Safe" certification required by all food service industry employers...this certification enables the students to be hyper aware of food borne illnesses, food contaminants and other safety and sanitary required by the state of Texas. New this year is the "Manager Food Handler Certificate" which gives our students the edge when looking for employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and will supercede the previous certification. This certification will be the focus of all of our students at the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year.

A little about the Chef!

Chef Rene Guerrero comes to us from San Antonio, Texas. From 1995 to 2010 Chef Rene has created and operated successful restaurant concepts. The success of the concepts have enabled Chef Rene to bring his entrepreneurial spirit to the program here in Uvalde. The ultimate compliment Chef Rene could receive would be to help a local graduate of the program to open his or her own restaurant concept here in Uvalde. Every student has the ability to accomplish whatever their heart desires.

Communication

“Within the restaurant industry, proper communications are essential for company success and customer service. Ranging from bookings, company procedures, inventory control and scheduling; the way we communicate with others will ultimately control restaurant success. Professional communications is an extremely vital skill to help your restaurant or culinary career reach it’s highest level”. These hospitality skills are useful and essential in every industry and profession. Our youth is slowly losing their ability to communicate because of our dependence on social media apps. Statistic: Only 15% of all Texas residents who attend college for the first time receive their degree because of the lack of "soft skills" or professional skills which include but are not limited to introducing your self to people you don't know, using a hand shake, eye contact and the like.

Mandate

Notification of Noon-discrimination in Career and Technical Education Programs

It is the policy of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and Career and Technical Education not to discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, gender or handicap in its programs, services or activities as required by law, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, as amended. Es norma del Distrito Escolar Consolidado e Independiente de Uvalde y del Programa Educativo de Careras y Tecnología no discriminar por motivos de edad, raza, color, origen nacional, sexo o impedimento, en sus programas, servicios o actividades, como se requieren por la ley, lo cual incluye el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Titulo IX de las Enmiendas en las Educación de 1972 y la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973 según enmienda.