The entrée was chicken but the most attractive item on the menu was opportunity.
The annual Cooking Up Partnerships Luncheon was held at the Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education Center Nov. 14.
A group of interested professionals toured the facility, met with teachers and students and dined in Saveur Restaurant as students prepared and served lunch. The event was sponsored by Frisco ISD Community Relations Department’s Partners in Education program.
Frisco ISD is well known for its career classes at the CTE Center and all the high school campuses. The career and technology programs provide students with hands-on experience.
More partners are needed as the District sees an increase in the number of students taking these classes. Growing interest increases the need for mentors, businesses to host interns and entrepreneurs who will work with the newly established Frisco ISD Business Incubator classes. Community Relations Director Allison Miller and Community Outreach Liaison Jenna Benabe encouraged guests to seek out the many ways that they can become a partner in education and have a direct impact on students.
The guests discovered that it is not unusual for a student at the CTE center to job shadow or work in the field they are studying in class – perhaps running their own graphic design business or working at a pharmacy, restaurant or veterinary clinic as they prepare for college or the work world.
Design and real-world scenarios are part of the curriculum in all areas of study at the CTE Center - whether it is planning the design of a house, building models, learning a new recipe, studying for mock trial, editing a television news story or animating cartoon figures.
Frisco ISD has partnerships with medical professionals, engineering firms, businesses and non-profit organizations, but the District needs more people who are willing to bring clients or colleagues to lunch at the CTE’s teaching restaurant, speak to students about career options or mentor an intern. All of these partnerships help a student be college ready and prepared for the real world.
“We need you to be part of this,” Miller said. “We have more and more students signing up for these classes and we need professionals to work with students as mentors.”
Independent Study and Mentorship class is another specialized program that allows students to explore potential interests with a mentor and a year-long project. That program is offered at home campuses, but is also another line of inquiry that helps students prepare for the future. It also relies heavily on mentors to work with students.
Counselor Kelly Hemenway led the tour through the CTE Center, where architecture students are already working on helping design the proposed expansion of the school and computer science students were preparing for Cisco certification. The tour included the center’s courtroom, which Hemenway said visiting attorneys have said is nicer than some real courtrooms.
This annual event seeks out business professionals who want to partner with Frisco ISD in creating experiences and opportunities for students. If you missed your chance this year, don’t worry. Frisco ISD’s Partners in Education program works year-round to involve community members in becoming part of the education process for today’s students.
Contact Jenna Benabe at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about partnering with Frisco ISD. If you are interested in dining at Saveur, reservations are requested by contacting the CTE Center at 469.633.6780. The restaurant is typically open two days a week.