INWOOD–Musselman High School students are cooking up a new way of learning in the kitchen.
Students in the cooking classes at Musselman High are learning about nutrition, cooking techniques, safety and sanitation principles.
According to Randy Mcfarland, an 11th-grader at Musselman High and general manager of the advanced food class, the cooking program is broken into beginner cafe classes and advanced cooking classes. He has been with the culinary program for more than two years.
“We rotate through about eight stations,” Mcfarland said. “At each station, kids will make different recipes ranging from easy to more challenging recipes.”
The students take on a range of dishes and get backing from the teachers, Mcfarland said.
“We can bake anything, from pastries to prepared lunches, however our most popular is the cinnamon rolls,” Mcfarland said. “We will have some teachers order ahead for those and get around15 rolls, so we like that support.”
The cooking classes also have what are called “completers.”
“The reason this works so well is because we have what are called completers,” Mcfarland said. “There are some kids that complete all the beginner and advanced cooking courses and they are able to work here fourth through seventh period on their cooking assignments. That way, we always have people in the kitchen throughout the day working on things.”
Students stay active throughout the school from catering events to serving the occasional breakfast and lunch options to students and teachers.
Mcfarland said every Thursday, they also create a bakery setting with different pastries, pies and other sweets to sell. Every nine weeks the culinary students hold a coffee cart for the teachers to show their appreciation.
“We just do this to show them that we appreciate them,” Mcfarland said. “We will have different selections of coffee and pastries, we just try to go all out for these teachers and students.”
Just seven weeks into their new classes, Rachel Nauman, teacher at Musselman High, said the program is off to a great start.
“The program originally started out as the Musselman High School Cafe,” Nauman said. “However, the state told us we had to create an actual business, so now we have the Musselman Bakery. Every year, the students get to choose what they want to do and this year, they chose a bakery. This has been around since August, and it’s just a really good program for the kids–they feel like they are a part of something important.”
Mcfarland said he also enjoys the openness of the cooking instruction.
“I enjoy the freedom of expression in this program,” Mcfarland said. “Mrs. Nauman lets us make what we want and she also gives us leadership positions. She doesn’t watch us real closely and really lets us learn and go out on our own and try new things. We have to get our work done,. It’s up to us–so we learn about responsibility.”
Nauman agreed, adding the leaderships roles in the culinary program are a good learning experience for students.
“I give the students opportunities to hold management positions and learn that responsibility,” Nauman said. “Kal’Lee Pownall is the safety manager, Abbigail Kidwell is our accountability manager and Alexis Corkhill is the quality control manager here in the kitchen.”
Nauman added what makes Musselman High School’s culinary program unique is it’s size.
“I teach around 180 students, but 25 of those students are in multiple classes,” Nauman said. “It’s a big group of kids, but they are really great and they work really hard here everyday.”
Nauman said she wants to instill confidence in her students.
“I just really want to make them feel good about what they are doing here, that’s the biggest thing,” Nauman said. “They want to give back to the teachers. For our bakery, we sell things very cheap, so teachers and students can enjoy our food without worrying about spending a lot of money. I’m also trying to teach the students that you take care of the teachers who take care of you.”