Woodstock High School Career Pathway teacher Adrienne Fagan leads Nutrition and Food Science students sophomore Trinity Shearin, left, and Kamran Bokmuller in a cooking lesson.
The Cherokee County School District offers 38 Career Pathway high school programs, which provide students with a wide selection of job exploration and preparation electives. Through CCSD Pathway Profiles, we’ll regularly share highlights with you from one of these programs. This week’s profile focuses on Nutrition and Food Science, which is available at all CCSD high schools …
Woodstock High School junior Liz Addison already is using her Career Pathway classroom skills in the real world.
Now in her third year in the Nutrition and Food Science program, Liz works in a local restaurant where her lessons in food handling and kitchen safety help her every day.
“This Pathway has provided me with many different tools and tactics to use in the kitchen,” she said, adding the program has inspired her to pursue a culinary degree and career. “This class has given me the training I need to know to be safe and careful in the kitchen, which is essential for culinary school. Not only that, but I will take the skills I learned from food and nutrition home with me and use them on a daily basis.”
Liz is a student in the program led by Woodstock High School teacher Adrienne Fagan, who is in her 21st year teaching food and nutrition courses. Many of her students have pursued culinary careers and have risen to management and ownership roles including a former student who owns a beachfront tea restaurant. [Click here to see more photos from her classes.]
“I feel high school students should experience the different possibilities now as opposed to after they graduate. We offer this opportunity for all students to find their lifelong career goal,” said Ms. Fagan, whose chose to teach the programs because she loves the “art of cooking” and the value of nutritional knowledge for health and wellbeing.
Her courses offer students knowledge useful for careers in the field, as well as for preparing food for themselves and their families. Among the most anticipated activities are the chili cookoff and dessert cookoff.
“I love safety and sanitation,” Ms. Fagan said of her favorite lessons to teach. “This unit is something that overall stays the same, but it grabs everyone’s attention throughout the entire unit. The students learn how to use kitchen tools and gadgets, some for the first time. Each student learns about protecting others from germs and bacteria from food. We review the dangers and how to ultimately save lives by preparing food properly. Food is an art, and it takes discipline and planning to prepare a well-balanced safe dish.”
Junior Nicholas Jacobs plans to work as an interior designer and Realtor, but chose to participate in food science courses to gain life skills.
“The creativity I learned to use in this class has brought me joy and excitement,” he said. “I plan on using this in my future as a side hobby and taking these skills to the next level for a better me and for my family to come.”
Within the Pathway, classes offered include: food, nutrition and wellness; food for life; food science. Both food for life and food science also can earn students a science credit, as each meets their fourth science course requirement. Students can earn ServSafe Food Handler and ServSafe Food Manager industry certifications. Students can compete in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) state and national career skills contests.
This Pathway prepares students for careers including, but not limited to: dietitian and nutritionist, food science technician, restaurant manager, chef/head cook, restaurant staff, private household cook, food scientists and technologists, agricultural science professor, agricultural technician, caterer, catering crew, food warehouse safety and training specialist, pick and pack supervisor, distribution analyst.
The average income range for careers in this Pathway in Georgia is $38,000 to $105,000. Local and area employers for this Pathway include, but are not limited to: Cherokee County School District, Northside Hospital, WellStar Health System, Piedmont Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; State of Georgia, University of Georgia, Chattahoochee Technical College; The Coca-Cola Company, Chick-fil-A Inc., Waffle House Inc., Focus Brands Inc., Inspire Brands Inc., Honey Baked Ham Company of Georgia, Qwick Professionals, Unifi, assisted living communities and other healthcare providers; and restaurants, catering companies and supermarkets.