Augusta High School hosts Butler Culinary Arts Academy


Photo By Savannah McMichael

The Culinary building located on the south side of the school. In previous years, it was used only for preparing school lunches.

A new Culinary class that takes place in room 104 and in the culinary building, started on Aug. 16th to give more opportunities to high school students.

Opaa! Food management, the food service provider for the district, collaborated with Butler Community College to create a two-year track that puts passionate and hardworking culinary students into jobs. 

Junior Irene Dunton is involved in the academy and Dunton wants to pursue a degree in culinary arts. 

“Basically, it’s a group of people that go to Augusta every day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., we pretty much work to get our associates degree in culinary,” Dunton said.

Through the program, students attend six different classes throughout the week.

“We have information processing systems, sanitation management, Professional Culinary Skills I, kitchen math, public speaking and kitchen safety,” Dunton said.

The high school has a similar class, located in room 205, called Career and Life Planning. 

“Career and Life Planning is the introductory FACs class that talks about every aspect including consumerism, food, nutrition, childcare, how we think, and finances. So it kind of gives every student just a little bit of what is out there.” Career and Life Planning teacher Jennifer Webster said. 

This extracurricular class involves entry-level cooking and teaches students the safety precautions to take. 

“The class is packed,” Webster said. “Around 20 kids in a class.” 

 Compared to other classes, there are five students in the academy class. The academy focuses more on cooking versus different careers which Career and Life Planning focus on. 

“In class, there are seven instructors. There are teachers that will chew you out because they are college professors. They expect the same from you that they would of someone that just graduated from high school,” Dunton said. 

Instructor Zach Hettenbach of the academy teaches professional culinary knife skills. “The academy program teaches knife skills, purchasing, sanitation, and anything based off of cooking,” said Hettenbach.

The class helped Hettenbach unpack stoves and clean up the workspace, where he taught the students how to debone a chicken using a knife. Hettenbach decided to be one of the instructors for the academy because of his love of cooking, which made him open up his own catering business. 

“I’m excited to teach about making soups and sauces,” said Hettenbach, “It’s personally my favorite items to make. The culinary academy is excited to experience their first year at high school.”