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Cool Schools: Dowagiac Union High School teaching students how to cook

DOWAGIAC, Mich- Dowagiac Union High School students are kneading, mixing and cooking their way to an A+.

“An initiative was started by our administration to offer more electives,” said Andy Kruger, the Health and Culinary Arts Teacher. “As time went on, electives were disappearing and the core classes were taking over.”

Culinary Arts is a brand new year-long class at Dowagiac.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors are learning how to prep food, read recipes and are discovering healthier options.

“Our job is to make sure students know how to make healthy decisions in the kitchen,” Kruger said.

“It teaches you a bunch of life skills,” said Zech Huston, a senior at Dowagiac. “Especially when I go off to college, you’re not spending a lot of money at fast food restaurants, you can just cook in your dorm room or apartment.”

They’ve had salsa competitions, a chili cook off and plan on catching, cleaning and cooking their own fish.

It’s become to popular, there is a waiting list to get into the class.

Teacher Andy Kruger says he was nervous to startup a new course at first, but now he’s thrilled to be a part of this unique experience in his hometown.

“More community members have said what a wonderful job and what a great idea to have culinary arts at Dowagiac,” Kruger said.

The class will host a luncheon for senior citizens on Thursday. They are getting ready to compete in Lake Michigan College’s annual chili cook off.

Culinary Arts meets for 58 minutes. But starting next year, the district will extend the course time to 2 hours. A brand new state-of-the-art kitchen will be installed by the next school year.

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