Internship in cafeteria gives culinary students new view


Donna Stuckert Graham

Jada and Janiyah Smith received invaluable experience working in the school cafeteria.

Gabrielle Golston, Staff Writer

From the classroom to the kitchen, students Jada and Janiyah Smith (no relation), learn first hand what it’s like to work in the cafeteria.

The two students enrolled in the Culinary Arts class, were given the opportunity to become interns in the school’s cafeteria thanks to a new program between the MHS Culinary Arts classes and the school corporation’s Food Service Department. 

Ms. Patti Tubbs, the culinary arts teacher, explains how students get the chance to work as interns.

“Everyone in my class is going to the cafeteria. After they pass their food handler’s certificate, they are rotated into the cafeteria for three different rotations; one with food prep, one with food serving, and the third with dishwashing and sanitation,” Tubbs said. 

Jada and Janiyah are one of the few who have worked all rotations. Janiyah shares some of the responsibilities they have. 

“We cup the fruit, serve the kids, clean up afterwards like sweeps and they don’t make us wash dishes or anything. But we sweep the floors, clean up food, and sanitize the line where the food is after they take the food out,¨ Smith said.

Jada and Janiyah work in the freshman and main cafeteria. 

¨I like working on the freshmen side because they teach me how to serve and when I get a job I’m gonna kno w how to do it well,” Jada said.

Working in the cafeteria as interns has brought some good memories to Janiyah and Jada, Janiyah shares her favorite memory.

She explains with a smile about her and Jada being able to dance to music in the freshman cafeteria and the staff in the cafeteria joining with them. 

“I really like cooking because I always have had a passion for it, … the whole experience is good,“ Janiyah said.

Jada also tells how this opportunity would help her with real life experiences.

While in the cafeteria, Jada and Janiyah rely on the skills and tips Ms. Tubbs teaches her students.

“I tell them it doesn’t matter what job they are trying to get, that they always should make sure they are cross training so that they can do more than just the job that you’re assigned,” Ms. Tubbs said. “The more skills you have, the better off you are.”