Students in Jessica Kronenberg's VIP (Vocationally Individually Paced) Food Service Program at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center are already shining in the workplace. "I am so excited to tell everyone their accomplishments," says Mrs. Kronenberg. "I think it a great power of example to motivate my other students who have yet to enter the workforce. I want them to leave here with the confidence to pursue their goals."
The Food Service Program is designed to meet the needs of students who require smaller learning environments to be successful and is geared for 11th to 12th graders, with the option of students being able to stay in the program until they are 21 years old. "It is an exploratory course for students with an overview of food preparation, global and gourmet foods, commercial foods, food science and food service operations. It also helps to prepare them for employment with teaching them job interviewing skills and how to work well with others," explains Mrs. Kronenberg.
Jarrett Mason, an 11th grader, recently was made a manager at McDonald's in Lockport. "I help to train new crew members or assist crew members. I have worked there for a year and I really like my job a lot." He says that Mrs. Kronenberg has really helped him with getting the promotion. "This class has taught me a lot about customer service. I really like helping out at the events at the school." One of her other students, George Dueno, is employed at the Fieldstone as a host, busser and dishwasher. He is working with a graduate from the Culinary Arts program at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, Dan Gunther. Chef Gunther graduated from James Atzrott's program in 2010 and went to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (N.F.C.I.) after graduation. He is now the head chef at the Lockport restaurant. "George and Jarrett will be in Mr. Atzrott’s class next year. I am so proud of them," says Mrs. Kronenberg. "I think it is important that people know that my class is a stepping stone to the Culinary Arts program if they are willing to put the work in."
Joseph Gates is a senior and works at Fitzgibbons Public House in Medina as a prep and line cook. "This class has helped me with getting my job. I will be attending D'Avolio Culinary Arts School in Buffalo this summer." One of the students, Shamaria Howard, also a senior, has been taking on the role of mentor to many of the students in the class. "I really like being here, it's a lot of fun.”" Mrs. Kronenberg says she has other students who have pursued jobs other than food service and have been very successful as well. "Alexandra has worked at Darien Lake for many years and Kayla has opened a Dollar Tree. I feel confident that all my students will be successful when they leave here."