Last Wednesday, school leaders joined students, community-based organizations and Department of Education (DOE) officials to cut the ribbon on the new sixth-floor facility.
Educators said the kitchen will boost the school’s Culinary Arts program, its first Career and Technical Education (CTE)-certified program.
“This program, as the flagship for the city, showed and led the way,” said Vivian Selenikas, the principal at Long Island City High School, “and paved the road for the rest of our school and the rest of our programs needed to collaborate and cooperate and be with the community.”
Selenikas said the genesis of the kitchen was a conversation about how many students came out of the Culinary Arts program and the need for kitchen space.
The “academy” offers students lessons on kitchen technique, recipe development, nutrition, food safety and sanitation. It prepares students for entry-level positions in the food service industry.
In addition to Culinary Arts, Long Island City High School also offers a CTE program in hotel and restaurant management, as well as technology.
“This school commits to this community that we will make this program double,” she said.
“This is a way for our young people to get the benefit of an important CTE education,” added Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, “to learn something that will be in their careers their entire lives.”
DOE Deputy Chancellor Karin Goldmark noted that when Chancellor Richard Carranza first came to New York City, he went on a tour of the school system.
Two key themes he came up with was that the system should better serve historically underserved students, and expand the CTE programs across the city.
“This Culinary Arts program is an example of listening, taking that, working with the community, putting it into action and making it real,” Goldmark said.