SJHS Culinary Arts facility grand opening

New program seeks to provide a school-wide culture

Photos by SJHS
SJHS Student Keyanna Brown served event guests vegetable pizza, a catering favorite.

■ San Jacinto Unified School District / Contributed

San Jacinto Unified School District’s San Jacinto High School has a shiny new Culinary Arts facility, already put into action for the ribbon-cutting event held on Oct. 24, from a dream made real through a three-year Career Technical Education (CTE) grant from the California Department of Education (CDE) awarded in February of 2016.

Dr Vince Record, Director College & Career cuts ribbon for new facility.

Two classrooms and an unused snack bar in the school’s 500 Building were repurposed for a total of 4,080 square feet of adjoining rooms consisting of a classroom with instructor cooking island, a commercial cooking laboratory, and a cafe room with point-of-sale/display case.
“Notice of the grant was released in October 2015, and designed to enhance an existing CTE pathway. Our Culinary Arts pathway had grown significantly since 2011 under the guidance of Teacher Debra Ward,” explained Dr. Vince Record, SJUSD College & Career Director. “Yet, they were still operating in the Home Economics classroom I had attended as a student in the 70s,” he shared.
Dr. Record noted that the simple application was originally due on Dec. 21, 2015, but the CDE website kept crashing. “I tried everyday starting on Dec. 15, even during the winter break to submit the application, and to my surprise on Christmas morning, it worked,” said Dr. Record. “There was a Santa Claus!” he exclaimed, sharing that SJUSD was the first to submit an application.

SJHS Culinary Arts Facility’s Tiger Cafe.

The high school’s Culinary Arts program seeks to provide a school-wide culture where students are encouraged to pursue career pathways in the food service industry. Their priority is to provide hands-on training in basic and advanced culinary skills. Students are taught enhanced job competencies and are involved in relevant work-based experiences.
The construction project’s design team, lead by HMC Architects of Ontario, brought in equipment and headsets in 2016, and helped SJUSD staff virtually walk through the planned teaching and learning spaces methodized by Dieli Murawka Howe Food Service Designers of San Diego. Besides the CDE grant, other funding resources were used for the $3,075,000 cost of the new facility, with the majority spent on commercial-grade equipment including refrigeration units, multiple open burner stoves, commercial mixer, deep fryer and countertop induction skillet, just to name a few.

SJHS Students preparing serving trays from new cooking lab for ribbon-cutting event.

“Each one of our 85 students in the program are extremely excited to start working in the new facility,” shared Culinary Supervisor Jeannie Duistermars. “We are looking forward to the room we’ll have for our upcoming catering events,” she noted.
For more information about the Culinary Arts pathway, contact Instructor Debra Ward, or Supervisor Jeannie Duistermars,, 951- 754-7374 x2512.

SJUSD: “All Students College & Career Ready”
SJHS students prepare serving trays from new cooking lab for ribbon-cutting event.
SJHS Student Keyanna Brown served event guests vegetable pizza, a catering favorite.
Dr. Vince Record, SJUSD’s Director of College & Career, cuts the ribbon to start the tours of the new Culinary Arts facility.
SJHS Culinary Arts Facility’s new Tiger Cafe for adult lunches and after-school student retailing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *