The Hospitality Business Alliance (HBA) has entered into an exclusive partnership with South Tech’s Culinary Arts Program. The HBA’s mission is to foster a culture of respect and cooperation between hospitality businesses and their supplier partners and South Tech hosts one of only two American Culinary Federation certified high school programs in the St. Louis region (the other is at our partner school North Tech). This cooperative program will enhance our curriculum through one to one mentorship.
The program brings senior level students together with a mentor who will work with them throughout the school year. After initial meetings and interviews in September, students will job shadow with their mentor in October or November, check-in during December for a grade and professionalism review, have an additional job shadowing experience in the spring, then mentors and students will end the year with a luncheon in April. Mentors will dedicate a minimum of 7 hours to their student over the course of the school year and also have the option to provide equipment, in-class trainings, field trips, guest speakers, or to serve as a judge for the many contests our students compete in each year. Mentors are also welcome to join the Culinary Arts advisory board that meets twice annually to conduct program and curriculum reviews.
Paul Witwer, a 30 plus year veteran of the hospitality industry and employee of Performance Food Group Middendorf, is a co-founder of the HBA. He was exposed to the South Tech’s Culinary Arts program two years ago and was immediately impressed. The level of professionalism, the quality, the standards, and the work ethic of the instructors and the students went well beyond his expectations. “They are awesome, full of energy, and so professional and disciplined,” he said of the students.
Melissa Maness and David Bass, program instructors, developed the mentoring program with Witwer to aid both students and the industry. Due to a need for more highly skilled and talented employees in the industry, Witwer felt that there were multiple companies who would be interested in supporting South Tech’s Culinary Arts program. “I think everybody should participate,” he said.
The program has received an overwhelming amount of support, with 21 mentors from 13 different local and regional companies already committed to serve including: Alex Herman, Anne Horton, Jay Vaughn, Chris Desens, and Rob Lyons of Performance Food Group, Josh Galliano of Companion, Lute Cain of Forest Hills Country Club, Christian Gullet and Robert Opdenbrouw of Lutheran Senior Services, Bob Menedez of Sunset 44, Grant Higgs and Bart Phillips of Missouri Athletic Club, Dan Holtgrave of Old Warson Country Club, Chris Stroup of Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, Brian Menzel of Glen Echo Country Club, Josh Schlink of River City Casino, Bobby Tessler of St. Louis Wing Company, Todd Corum of the St. Louis Zoo, William Ortmann and Beau Meadows of Cardinals Nation, and David Laufer of River City Casino.
To learn more about the HBA, visit their website here: http://hospitalitybusinessalliance.com/
South Tech students had an amazing week in Louisville, KY last month where they attended in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. The annual conference included competitions, break out sessions, celebrations, team building events, and a guest speaking engagement with Mike Rowe of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
Competing nationally requires preparation, practice, and discipline and South Tech’s results reflect the hard work of our students. We are so proud of them and their accomplishments.
To learn more about SkillsUSA and the National Conference, visit their website at SkillsUSA or watch this fun video of the week in review.
Amanda Ohlau – elected President of Missouri’s SkillsUSA State Officer Team 2017-18
Amanda also participated in the Action Skills contest with Zach Goetter as her model. She will be featured in an upcoming article in the national SkillsUSA publication Champions.
IT Services – Christopher Moore – 3rd place
Chris has only just finished his junior year and performed exceptionally well in this very challenging contest. He also passed his A+ certification (IRC) during the competition.
Firefighting – Patrick (Alex) Way – 13th place
Alex earned his EMT certification and his Fire I and II certifications before he left for Louisville. Alex’s instructor, Dave Hope, was extremely proud of his performance against some very tough competition. Alex is now employed at Barnes Hospital on the Cardio Thoracic floor as a Patient Care Technician.
Welding Fabrication – Joel Besch, Jared Jacquot, Jason Neier – 7th place
This dedicated team drove to the Sheet Metal Workers facility (Local 36) downtown three mornings per week since early May to prepare for this competition because their program lab was undergoing renovations.
Welding Sculpture – Alex Juelfs – 6th place
Alex competed nationally for the second time this year. Qualifying for nationals once is a significant accomplishment. Alex has set the bar very high for future South Tech welding sculpture competitors.
Quiz Bowl – Joseph Steinhoff, Ashlynne Dietrich, Kai Hoffman, Kelaiah Killmade – 23rd place
Mrs. Schnurbush, Quiz Bowl sponsor, said this team of first-year students performed very well in a competitive field. She expects them to hard to beat in next year’s contest.
Power Equipment Technology – Christopher Ownbey – 14th place
Chris participated in his major’s Forklift Repair program through our partnership with Heubel Material Handling. He earned an internship with them and is now working for them as a full-time technician.
Job Demonstration A – Hadley (Shae) McNeill – 13th place
The judges gave Shae very high marks (over 90%) but there was just so much competition.
Automated Manufacturing Technology – Caleb Harter, Mike Steppig, Mark Witte – 11th place
This team’s resilience impressed their sponsors. When they arrived to their pre-contest meeting, they learned that their contest had changed and they would be required to compete with unfamiliar machinery. Even though their fellow competitors had up to 48 hours to familiarize themselves with these changes, our team handled themselves in an incredibly mature and sportsman-like way and rose to the challenge.
South Tech honored students during our annual Tops at Tech Banquet on Thursday, April 27th at Andre’s West in Fenton, Missouri. Each instructor selected one student to represent their major based on their performance, dedication, and enthusiasm. Families joined their students and teachers for the evening event, hosted by principal Jacob Lohse. Award recipients were:
- Electronics & Robotics – Anthony Truong, Lindbergh, Missouri Institute of Science and Technology
- Precision Machining – Caleb Harter, Home School, Western Kentucky University
- Welding – Harrison Dye, Eureka, Missouri Welding Institute
- MAKES – Alex Bird, Webster Groves, Continuing Studies at South Tech
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & GRAPHICS
- Graphic Design – Tristan Kottemann, Affton, St. Louis Community College
- Cisco Networking Academy – Maxxwell Diebold, Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Southeast Missouri State
- Web & Computer Programming – Maxwell Buckel, Oakville, Missouri Institute of Science and Technology
- Carpentry – Barrett Province, Parkway South, St. Louis Community College
- Electrical Trades – Sean Goody, Mehlville, Beginning Career in Field
- HVAC – Ethan Portray, Home School, Ranken Technical College
- General Construction – Connor Lange, Mehlville, Apprenticeship with Hamtil Construction
- Construction Methods & Materials – Thomas Williams, Eureka, Considering Trade Schools and Employment
- Cosmetology – Madison Kuennen, Lindbergh, Continuing Studies at South Tech
- Cosmetology – Allison Lawton, Lindbergh, Fontbonne University
- Culinary Arts – Julie Evers, Lindbergh, St. Louis Community College
- Culinary Arts – Sierra Plummer, Valley Park, St. Louis Community College
- Early Childhood Education – Abby Hobold, Mehlville, Truman State University
MEDICAL & ANIMAL SERVICES
- Dental Sciences – Inna Solomakhina, Marquette, St. Louis Community College
- Health Sciences – Alexandra Heveroh, Oakville, Bradley University
- Health Sciences – Morgan Harter, Home School, Southeast Missouri State
- Pharmacy Sciences – Lakelus Corbin, Kirkwood, St. Louis Community College
- Pre-Professional Health Sciences Academy – MacKenna Morgan, St. Louis Community College and continued work as a PCT at St. Louis Children’s Hospital
- Veterinary Assistant – Joseph Vanlieshout, Oakville, St. Louis Community College
- Veterinary Assistant – Alexis Koch, Mehlville, St. Louis Community College
- Emergency Medical Technician – Chase Rogers, Marquette, University of Southern Florida
- Firefighting – Austin Menning, Oakville, Continuing Studies at South Tech
- Law Enforcement – Ethan Morris, Mehlville, University of Missouri – St. Louis
- Auto Body – Branden Speckman, Parkway South, Plans to open his own business
- Auto Technology – Anthony Howell, Mehlville, Ranken Technical College
- Auto Technology – Eric VonFeldt, Rockwood Summit, State Technical College
- Motorcycle & Small Engine Tech – Brian Rolwes, Marquette, Beginning Career in Field
South Tech also recognized outstanding staff members during the event. Sally DiFani, College and Career counselor and SkillsUSA Co-Lead Sponsor was awarded teacher of the year for the second time since joining our staff. And our new Attendance Secretary, Sarah McManus, earned the staff member of the year award.