Friday, September 29, 2023

Biomed out at Alton, culinary arts back at Manatee


Student newspapers across the US typically report, at the beginning and end of every school year, about new teacher arrivals and staff departures.

At Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida, students will be reintroduced to a course in the culinary arts, complete with an exam at the end that could give them certificates of completion in areas such as handling food safely.

They’ll also be setting up a café in the school, where students will take teachers’ orders from a menu, prepare the food in the kitchen, and serve delicious creations of their own for a few days each week, reports Maximus MacArthur in the school’s student newspaper.

The culinary arts classes and the café, some form of which is also expected to be operating at a few other schools in the district, were dropped during the pandemic, and students are excited to have culinary arts back in the curriculum, thanks to the arrival of Judith Conover.

Ms Conover joins the school this year, packing experience in the baking and food service industries. She owned and operated a baking business for 23 years in a prior career and told the student newspaper she’s happy to bring her self-taught love of baking and even some of her favorite family recipes for different types of bread and pastries to students.

“I’m excited to get to cook and serve teachers at the Canes Café,” one sophomore culinary arts student was quoted as saying.

But at Alton Senior High School in Illinois, students who were enrolled in one of the school’s three biomed courses, which have to be completed in the right order, were disappointed when they found out during first period one day last week that the courses could not be offered because the teacher who was scheduled to teach the classes had left the district.

“I feel like [the biomed classes] have all been very hands-on and informative classes,” student reporter Madelyn Darr quoted one student as saying in the school’s student newspaper. “It makes me sad because healthcare professionals are really needed in the world right now, and Alton High School couldn’t find a replacement teacher,” another said. “So other students, including me, don’t get the chance to further learn about healthcare.”

A health occupations course, offered by Lewis and Clark Community College in nearby Godfrey, however, will still be available for Alton students, but the three biomed courses offered on Alton’s campus—Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems, and Medical Interventions—had to be canceled for this year.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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