Delta student wins Regional Tech Prep Consortium Student of the Year

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Staci DeVore (Fred Lynch)

Culinary training got Staci DeVore, 18, to appreciate one of the simplest ingredients in cooking.

"I wouldn't touch tomatoes to save my life," she said.

DeVore, a student at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, is in her second year of training. She said she became interested in culinary arts after taking a cake decorating class with her grandmother when she was 15. Despite wanting to stick to the desserts, she said she has learned to appreciate all food more -- including tomatoes.

"You can manipulate their flavor a lot more than people think," said DeVore, a senior, who splits her school day between the center and Delta High School.

DeVore was recently named Southeast Missouri Regional Tech Prep Consortium Student of the Year. Each year, Missouri's 12 consortiums give the award to a student in the region.

Southeast's consortium includes four career and technology centers and Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. DeVore beat out students in other tech prep areas of study like electrical technology, automotive technology and horticulture.

Next month, she will be honored in Jefferson City, Mo., with the other students who won the award, which includes a scholarship to Mineral Area College.

After graduating high school, she will continue her studies for another year at the center to receive an associate degree from Mineral Area College. She said she also wants to pursue a degree in hospitality management at Southeast Missouri State University and more culinary training at L'Ecole Culinaire in St. Louis.

Her ideal job, she said, would be owning a cafe serving soups, sandwiches and desserts, her favorite.

"There's a lot more flour and messy ingredients involved," she said.

Culinary instructor Doc Cain said about 42 students are in the program, a mixture of high school students and adults.

DeVore has the reliability that is important in the culinary world, he said.

"She is very diligent and will work until the job is done," Cain said. "Not to mention the fact that she's very talented."

DeVore is also the team leader for the center's ProStart Team, which will compete in a statewide culinary competition in Union, Mo., next month. She said she and other students meet after school to work on their knife skills and other cooking techniques.

The culinary training, she said, also met its original intentions. It created a cooking bond between her and her grandmother, who first spurred her interest.

"We cook every Sunday together," she said.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

10080 S. Silver Springs Road Cape Girardeau, MO

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