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Hands-on learning

Students in the Food and Nutrition class at Jefferson High School in Alexandria recently created their favorite food of choice. Students include (back row, left to right) Jeff Swedberg, Alex Sonju, Mitch Martin, Danielle Kasmaker, Cassie Smith, DJ Trudell, (front row) Hayley Thompson, Ashley Duffy, Brenna Skinner and Jaime Stumpf. (Contributed photo)1 / 4
Alex Sonju and Jaime Stumpf were awarded the Culinary Excellence award by their peers in the Food and Nutrition class at Jefferson High School. (Contributed photo)2 / 4
Twenty children from two local daycares participated in a recent "Play School" conducted by students in the Jefferson High School Child Development class. (Contributed photo)3 / 4
(Left to right) Wensia Johnson, McKenna Goracke and Hayley Burns, students in the Regional Foods class at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria, practiced decorating a cake under the direction of professional cake decorator Judy Krause. (Contributed photo)4 / 4

Alexandria students have been getting some hands-on experience recently in the areas of food and child development.


Students in Tanya Jensen's Child Development class at Jefferson High School (JHS) hosted the annual "Play School" recently. Twenty children ages 7 months to 5 years from Cross Country Care and Angie's Daycare attended. 

The children were directed through large group games, theme introduction and story time, crafts, puppet shows and free play time.

They created stations to best promote physical, mental and social development, including a manipulative play station, an imaginary play station, a sand and sea area, large and small motor areas, a quiet reading station, and a baby station. 


Judy Krause visited the 9th grade Regional Foods class at Discovery Middle School to talk with students about the art of cake decorating. 

Krause works for Grand Arbor in Alexandria, where one of her roles is cake decorating. She also does cake decorating on her own for weddings and special events. 

Students were able to practice some cake decorating techniques.


Matthew Jensen visited with students in the Food and Nutrition class at JHS to talk about the industry of culinary arts. 

Jensen is a graduate of The California Culinary Institute in Pasadena and is currently the chef manager at Grand Arbor. He also owns Chez Mateo catering business and teaches cooking classes through Community Education in Alexandria.

Jensen discussed the paths to take to get into the field, the different opportunities available, and personal traits, learning experiences and goals to be successful in the field. 

Students in the Food and Nutrition class ended the semester focusing on the health benefits of their favorite foods. They then created a Favorite Food of Choice for their last lab.

Jamie Stumpf and Alex Sonju were nominated by their peers for this year's Culinary Excellence award for their culinary abilities and positive leadership. They were awarded CIA Spoons.