Students gain confidence and on the job experience with South Colonie Food Service Department

student stands with food service worker in kitchen
CCHS Student stands with Food Service  Cook Manager Lee Spinelli

Learning the necessary skills to be successful in today’s environment is essential for our students as they navigate through their educational experience.   

New this year, some of our students are taking their life skills on the road through a new partnership with South Colonie Food Service Department.

Keri Martinez  and Jennifer Satin, co-teachers of the life skills program at Colonie Central High School are always on the lookout for new opportunities for their students to engage in real life experiences that lead to jobs within the community. 

“Jen and I were fortunate enough to meet with Lee Spinelli, a member of the Food Service team at Forest Park Elementary about the possible opportunities for our students,” said Life Skills Co-teacher Keri Martinez. “Lee shared information with us about how her staff prepares fruit and pre-made lunches for all of the other elementary schools on a daily basis and how she felt that these jobs would be perfect for our students currently volunteering in a variety of other places in our community. We were pleased to be able to provide something within our own school district that prepares our students and focuses on their individual abilities”

student preps food in kitchen
CCHS student volunteers his time prepping food at Forest Park Elementary

“We are really excited for this partnership,” said South Colonie Food Service Director Annette Sukup.  “We feel strongly that this experience will be beneficial for our students. The knowledge they will learn with us will definitely set the stage for them to have the skills and confidence to be successful working in a similar capacity in the food service industry in the future.”

Students who are placed  with South Colonie Food Service Department will volunteer onsite occasionally during the week for one hour throughout the course of the school year.

“Our hope is that the students will build confidence through this opportunity,” said Supervisor of Special Programs William Boardman. “ We feel that expanding their life skills experience to outside the classroom will give our students the understanding of their individual abilities and allow them to develop broad transferable skills.”

In addition to working with the South Colonie Food Service Department, CCHS life skill students volunteer at the Mohawk Humane Society, Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, SaraBella Pizzeria and Coccadotts.