TENNERTON, W.Va. – Like many students in career and technical education programs, culinary students at Buckhannon-Upshur High School haven’t had the easiest time this year getting practice in their field. But, when a local business asked if they’d like to visit their operation, both the students and the school jumped at the opportunity.
“Wendling’s has always taken great pride in being involved in our community. We love Buckhannon. We’re proud to be here, so anything we can do locally we are going to do,” said Charity Wendling, vice president of marketing for Wendling’s Food Service.
As part of their visit, those students got a tour of the Wendling’s warehouse before putting their skills to the test with a meal for both school officials and Wendling’s staff members. B-UHS Principal Jon Pollock said chances like these are critical to the success of students in these kinds of programs.
“So much of that type of education is based on real experiential learning, being put in situations like this, where you’re not just doing a homework assignment, but you’re actually completing a real-world, authentic task for people, and they will let you know how it is at the end,” Pollock said.
Pollock said there’s light at the end of the tunnel, though. As pandemic restrictions relax, he said he expects the opportunities for practical experiences to return as strong as they once were, and he thinks even this year, his students will be ready.
“Fred Eberle and our programs have done our best to make sure our students are completers, and not just virtual completers this year,” said Pollock.