DALHART, Texas (KFDA) - Dalhart High School is being awarded thousands of dollars to help update its culinary program.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this happen at Dalhart, and it’s just amazing. We feel so blessed," said Maddi Beckner, student at Dalhart High School.
Dalhart High School is one of eight schools throughout the country to be awarded a grant from the Rachael Ray Foundation.
The $90,000 will be used to update the culinary kitchen which is required to have a more rigorous curriculum known as ProStart.
“Our goal is to have ours resemble a restaurant kitchen. Our goal in our CTE department is to have these students job ready, so when they graduate high school, they are ready to go and get a job,” said Stephanie Ellis, culinary teacher at Dalhart High School.
Ellis says once they have the tools for this new way of learning, they can better prepare students to excel in the restaurant business after graduation.
“We teach restaurant management, they do customer service skills, safety and sanitation. They get their Texas food handlers license, and this is going to help them just go above and beyond in that,” said Ellis.
Maddi, who is a senior, has spent the last three years in culinary classes at Dalhart High School.
Even with her parents owning a restaurant, she says she's learned tools from this class that she wouldn't have learned on the job.
“This class has helped me so much. I’ve learned so much, things I wouldn’t have learned in my job that has made me a better cook,” said Beckner.
The new improvements and curriculum will be implemented in August.
Although Maddi will miss the benefits of this award, she hopes other students can benefit from the class the same way she did.
“I hope that the new curriculum and our new equipment that is coming in is really going to get them job ready, because, you know, that’s the goal here. I hope that these students that don’t think they want to go to college, they can come straight out of high school, get their job right away and grow in that environment,” said Beckner.