What’s Cooking up in Gateway’s ProStart Kitchen?

Written by Adamari Ruelas, Vista PEAK Preparatory Senior, and APS Communication Intern

Gateway High School students are cooking up a storm in their state-of-the-art ProStart kitchen. Thanks to the 2016 Bond Program, Aurora Public Schools was able to install an advanced kitchen for the Olys to expand their Culinary Arts program in 2018. The young, aspiring chefs now have access to a double-decker convection oven, large reach-in refrigerator and freezer, pizza oven, high-quality stainless steel work tables, wooden bakery tables and more.

The kitchen supports Gateway’s ProStart pathway, which helps students get cooking experience and learn skills for a culinary career while still in high school. The program is directed by Sarah Field, who is just as happy to have the kitchen as the students are.

“It was hard to create an air of professionalism and develop a career-based culinary pathway in such a dilapidated kitchen,” Field speaks about the kitchen that Gateway housed before the upgrade. Since then, many students have gone through the pathway’s curriculum, some of whom have continued to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

Although the kitchen supports many students academically, it also helps students outside of the classroom. Kiera
Madison, a junior in the program says, “it has helped me grow my communication skills. It has helped me mentally
to an extent. It’s a fun class, very different from the usual classes, so it is a nice change.”

Madison is not the only one to feel this way either with all the students that take the course. It is an incredible
experience that leaves students with memories that will last a lifetime. Field and her students are all very appreciative
of the kitchen which has helped them thrive and work in ways that weren’t possible before.

We are grateful to the Aurora community, who approved a $300 million bond measure in November 2016, which
made the kitchen and all these amazing future chefs possible.

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APS Students Work Dream Jobs through Pickens Program
Vista PEAK Preparatory senior Adamari Ruelas envisions life as an author. To gain experience in a professional
setting, she is serving the APS Communication Department as an intern through the Pickens Technical
College Executive Internship Program. The program allows students to explore career fields in businesses
across Aurora. Students interested in interning should contact their school counselors. Businesses interested
in hosting APS interns may contact Kim Wisneski at 303-344-4910, ext. 27745.

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