The mission of schools is to prepare students for adulthood.
In addition to scholastic basics, high schools provide instruction for students to segue into the working world. Industrial arts, long a staple of vocational training, has been joined by intensive study in a field of great local interest -- the hospitality business.
The Brass Lantern, a restaurant and learning tool at Sandusky High School, is a showcase of the talents of students in the lodging management program.
Under the tutelage of Viki Kaszonyi, the director of career technical and adult education, and instructor Brent Mesenburg, students learn culinary arts, sales and marketing, human resources, facility management and customer service.
The two-year-old program picks up where the former culinary instruction program left off, adding aspects of the lodging industry to the already comprehensive curricula.
The Brass Lantern, which had been closed for a few years, has been revitalized and is open to the public two days a week. Staffed entirely by students, the restaurant serves hearty lunch fare to its customers while serving a hefty portion of experience to students.
In a local job market dominated by hotels, restaurants and retail establishments, students learn early on jobs are not hard to find. But finding and settling in to an entry level job is not the stuff of which dreams are made. Career opportunities are available.
To qualify for these opportunities, candidates must exhibit to their employers a sense of dedication to customer satisfaction, professionalism, flexibility and job knowledge. These qualities, coupled with exemplary performance on the entry level, push workers to the top of their game.
Kaszonyi recognizes the varied abilities and goals of students in the program. Curricula are tailored to address the wide scope of the industry.
In a town the size of Sandusky and with its economic focus, a comprehensive vocational program is a boon to local job markets.
If you need employees to staff your hospitality industry venues, consider vocational students or graduates. In addition to SHS programs, EHOVE has long prepared students with direct lines into the job market.
If you're a younger student, contemplate realistically your future; and consider the fine options of career training.
If you're a Sandusky resident, keep up the support of the schools so such programs can continue to flourish.
And if you're hungry, go to the Brass Lantern Wednesdays or Thursdays for a good lunch.