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Kitchen less Culinary Arts Program Does Not Stop Mrs. Beck from Success

Even though East High’s new Culinary arts program lacks a kitchen, it’s not a new challenge for Mrs. Brittany Beck, who has led newly built restaurants from the ground up. The new program is offered at East, to both East and West High School students.

Mr. Charles Carter, supervisor of the CTE programs in Hamblen County, brought the Culinary Arts program to East and West Students due to the vast amount of culinary career opportunities it brings to the future graduates of Hamblen County Schools. Carter explained how he taught Beck at East Ridge. Carter had not known about Beck's extensive history in culinary. When he found out, she became a lead candidate for the program's teaching position.

Mrs. Brittany Beckelhimer stands in front of her new class smart TV.
Mrs. Brittany Beckelhimer stands in front of her new class smart TV.

Get to Know Mrs. Beck

Beck, Like most teenagers, struggled to find her passion in life. She graduated from East High School then attended college for an animal science degree with her plan to be in the wildlife field. Once graduated, she worked as a vet assistant, where she realized it was just not for her. From there she went back to the restaurant industry where in the industry she worked in local places such as No Way Jose’s and Holston’s Kitchen, both four star restaurants.

When Beck heard of the new culinary arts program, she thought it was an amazing opportunity for the students in Hamblen County. She thought about applying for the position because she enjoyed teaching young people in the work environment and thought this would be a perfect spot for her.

When accepted into this program, Beck immediately became faced with difficult tasks. Not only did she enter her first year as a teacher, but her Culinary Program was in lack of a kitchen. To have never experienced this Beck is viewing her challenge as not a disadvantage, but a very unique opportunity. Ayden Rossignol exclaimed, "Through the first couple of days in her class, I believe that it will be a fun experience.” Even though it has only been a short amount of time of Beck’s presence, she has already proven herself so much.

Culinary Funding

This new CTE program has received funding from The Carl D. Perkins federal legislation. The act specifically funds work based learning experiences for students. The main enabler to push this expensive program came by means of Perkins dollars, but majority from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief 2.0 grant. Culinary Arts falls under the Career Cluster “Hospitality and Tourism” which just so happens to be one of the top five highest career fields in this area. “With our proximity to Sevier County, and all the opportunities that we have in the food and service industry, it really was a program that we were behind on providing,” Carter mentioned.

Culinary Arts Future

When exploring further into this new culinary arts curriculum It was found that the class is being held in one of East Highs Home Economics classrooms. Discovered among research that the only culinary appliance in the classroom is one singular refrigerator. It has been said this is only a temporary placement of the class, and that they plan to have the whole kitchen for the program constructed throughout the 2021-2022 school year. The kitchen they have planned to construct will be placed in the space that once was the cafeteria at East High. The kitchen itself is one that will mimic a commercial kitchen.

Some may say that without a kitchen, how will you teach a culinary class? The answer to that question is there is so much more to culinary than just cooking, there is plenty of safety curriculum the students have the opportunity to learn, which will help them obtain a Servsafe industry certification in the class. This will also prepare students for SkillsUSA and Beck’s Culinary Arts III class, which will let students participate in culinary competitions. As for the equipment, Beck has already made requests for all of the proper safety and kitchen equipment needed to help he students excel.

In conclusion, though Beck is faced with many difficulties, she has already proven to be a reliable educator that the students and parents of Hamblen County can expect great things from.

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