Banks County High School Showcases Culinary and Entrepreneurial Talent in CTAE Food Truck Challenge

A unique collaboration recently took place at Banks County High School, showcasing the invaluable role of our local business partnerships in developing students' real-world skills.

Banks County High School (BCHS) offers a diverse range of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathways that encompass agriculture, automotive, healthcare science, early childhood education, technology/communication, culinary arts, web and digital design, and business technology.

Recently, three of these pathways—Culinary Arts, Web and Digital Design, and Business Technology—collaborated on an innovative project centered on the concept of food trucks.

A panel of guests, including Superintendent Dr. Ann Hopkins, Assistant Superintendent Joy Edwards, Banks County High School administrators, and staff from other schools within the district, judged the event.

Culinary Arts students were tasked with designing and preparing a menu that reflected the unique theme of their food truck. They selected three diverse dishes, showcasing their skills in using professional kitchen equipment, from deep fryers to grills.

Students from the Web and Digital Design pathway applied their knowledge of design principles to construct a cohesive brand identity for their food trucks. They created dynamic websites featuring carefully designed menus, complete with images and detailed pricing, all tailored to the design of their business.

The Business Technology students rounded out the team by developing comprehensive business plans. These plans detailed aspects of entrepreneurship, including market analysis, operational strategies, financial projections, and growth opportunities. They also crafted unique food truck concepts, focusing on operational efficiency and customer appeal.

Student teams crafted a variety of food trucks to compete in the event, including "Flip N' Sip," "Big Papi's," "Subs N Clubs," and "Sweet Treats." "Subs N Clubs" was honored with Best Tasting and Best Overall awards, while "Sweet Treats" took home awards for Best Presentation and Most Creative.

Whittney LaHayne, a Business and Technology teacher at BCHS, emphasized the practical skills the students gained from such projects. "Often, high school students do not know what they want to do once they graduate. By bringing in guest speakers and engaging them in projects like this, we can equip them with practical skills and expose them to the various job opportunities available not just in our community but statewide and beyond," said LaHayne.

Throughout the year, her classes have benefited from guest speakers who have enriched her students' understanding of potential career paths. The speakers included several local business owners from Banks County, others from across Georgia, and even a representative from Google in Washington State.

The ongoing partnership between Banks County High School and local businesses, through the work-based learning program and various CTAE courses, continues to offer students invaluable insights and opportunities, preparing them for successful careers and community engagement.