Shannel Tejuco, Granada Hills Charter culinary arts student, won a full-ride scholarship valued at $122,584 after cooking her way to first place at the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) earlier this month at the Jonathan Town Club in downtown Los Angeles. Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) sent six talented young chefs to the C-CAP competition and each won scholarships, totaling $136,484 out if the $739,000 awarded.
Shannel has been working towards this competition for months, perfecting crepes and tourné potatoes, both requirements of the two-hour competition in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. “I was so nervous,” said Shannel, “Everything had to be perfect!” Upon graduation, she will attend Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado, where she plans to pursue a major in Culinary Arts and Business.
Chef Art Luna, GHCHS culinary arts teacher, said, “It was easy to see the intelligence and capacity of the students chosen to perform at the C-CAP challenge. They are savvy and creative and I am very proud of their accomplishments.” The other C-CAP competitors were Isaiah Rosario, Ian Sherman, Andrew Mercado and Sabrina Forte, Class of 2016, along with Natalie Babikian, Class of 2017, who received a special mention.
Another student was honored recently at Granada Hills Charter High School. GHCHS has a Career Technical Education department which includes a Global Business & Finance (GBF) program that sent six students to compete at DECA’s International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, Tennessee, where over 17,500 business-orientated students convened. Akshay Allam, GHCHS Class of 2017, won third place in the nation in the Retail Business Simulation, a contest to maximize profits in a fast-paced scenario while juggling pricing, product quantity, advertising strategies, staffing, and store security measures.
The tournament is designed to simulate real life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development.
“I had only 15 minutes to decide on my store’s plan and it had to make money – fast! My mind was spinning!” Allam said. After each 15-minute round, Allam continued advancing in the competition as each round of the simulation became increasingly difficult. The results were announced to thousands in the packed auditorium “Hearing my name and going up on stage was one of the best feelings ever!” he said.
Success at competitions like C-CAP and ICDC are examples of how students at GHCHS receive an education with a focus on developing skills that can transfer to any subject such as problem-solving and critical-thinking analyses. “We have a responsibility to educate our high school students for college and life beyond college,” states Judie Baumwirt, GHCHS Administrative Director of instruction who oversees the CTE department. “The CTE classes are designed to give them real skills, ones they can apply to all areas of life.”
The GHCHS CTE department also includes Construction and Automotive Technology classes that any student at GHCHS can elect to take. Granada Hills Charter offers a wide variety of academic programs and over 60 different clubs and activities, reflecting the philosophy of a student-centered school. For more information about Granada Hills Charter High School, visit the school’s website.