The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) recognized three foodservice educators in the 2012 CAFÉ-Idaho Potato Commission Innovation Awards at the eighth annual Leadership Conference of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) at The Culinary Institute of America, held in San Antonio from June 21-23, 2012.

“The Idaho Potato Commission is dedicated to sharing foodservice knowledge and skills with beginning culinarians,” says Don Odiorne, IPC vice president, foodservice. “Teaching innovation can mean reaching them faster and with greater comprehension.”

Cary York of East Jessamine High School, Nicholasville, Kentucky, received the top award for her project, Meet the Nutrition All-Stars, a nutrition book for children developed by her culinary-arts students. The exercise ensured the students understood the nutrition unit in order to package the information so a child could understand and learn it.

York’s idea was born from her school’s requirement to develop activities that assess learning from an application of knowledge rather than memorized information.

“Using the children’s book as an assessment tool early in the semester helped set the tone for learning during the Food and Nutrition course of study for students,” she says. “The academic experience came alive as they read to young children and saw the results of their efforts in promoting the new USDA My Plate food guidelines.”

For her first-place recognition, York received a cash award of $1,000 from the Idaho Potato Commission, subsidized travel to CAFÉ’s 2012 Leadership Conference and a full conference registration.

Two runners-up each received a complimentary conference registration and up to $500 in reimbursed travel expenses. Sarah Smith’s culinary students at Aliso Niguel High School, Aliso Viejo, California, learned product development and marketing by designing, creating, testing, and packaging a line of bottled and dry-packaged sauces to sell at a local farmer’s market.

Annmarie Chelius, a chef-instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, New Jersey, developed a program that encourages her students to “educate the educator” by teaching her something new. Students develop lesson plans, presentations and outcome assessments. According to Chelius, the program facilitates student learning via enthusiastic teaching.

The Idaho Potato Commission also awarded scholarships to foodservice educators to attend the 2012 CAFÉ Leadership Conference based on their use of technology to enhance the curriculum. Four recipients, each receiving a complimentary conference registration and up to $300 in reimbursed travel expenses, were chefs JoAnne Garvey of Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska; Sue McWilliams of Paint Branch High School, Burtonsville, Maryland; Michael Riggs, Ph.D., of Bowling Green Technical College, Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Angela Wilson of Keiser University, Tallahassee, Florida.

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