Students Compete for Future Chef Title

Fifth-grader Amira Gates of Asbury Park has captured the first honor on the road to being named a national Future Chef. “When I first went inside I felt nervous, but then I heard everything was going to be fine,” she said.

Thurgood Marshall Students Participate in Future Chefs Competition

Thurgood Marshall Students

Four Thurgood Marshall Elementary students recently received a chance to prepare and present their version of the ultimate healthy snack. This opportunity was offered as part of the Sodexo First Annual Future Chef’s Culinary Competition.

“The whole concept of this is to help educate the kids in healthy eating habits,” said Tyria Joyner, general manager for Sodexo in Asbury Park Schools.

Sodexo, a partner in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to end childhood obesity, hosted the fun and educational event as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure a brighter future in the areas of health and wellness, environmental stewardship and community development for Asbury Park youth. 

Twenty-one elementary school students from the district’s three elementary schools – Barack Obama, Bradley and Thurgood Marshall -- submitted healthy, after-school snack recipes in their own handwriting. The top four were selected to participate in the districtwide finale. As it turned out, all of the finalists hailed from Thurgood. They were:  Daniel Delgado, Amira Gates, Andrew Martinez and Briallan Mendoza.

The finalists were asked to prepare and present their creations after which they were assessed on originality, taste, ease of presentation, kid-friendliness and use of healthy ingredients. The judges -- Barbara Lesinski, Board Member; Geof Hasting, Business Administrator; Ivy Brown, Assistant Business Administrator; Mark Gerbino, Thurgood Marshall Principal; and Delmalis Roman, Title 1 Associate – had a monumental task.

“Having that type of event is fantastic because it teaches students life skills and puts them in a position where they have to perform,” Gerbino said. “It also helps them learn the importance of doing things the right way and making good decisions.”

The student creations varied. For example, Daniel created an original peanut butter, granola and apple sandwich with chocolate chips and Amira mixed up a fruity tootiey parfait, while Briallan opted for a traditional seasonal fruit salad and Andrew served up broccoli and cheese. 

Although judges, family and friends were impressed with all of the dishes; there could only be one winner. That was Amira Gates. 

“When I first went inside I felt nervous, but then I heard everything was going to be fine,” said the fifth-grader. “I was happy how the food came out perfect -- the granola was crunchy, the fruit and yogurt were nice and fresh and the spearmint I think got me the jackpot.”

Amira added that she decided to create her signature parfait because she and her grandmother always made big breakfasts and that was usually a part of them. She decided to add spearmint to top off her dish because she loves that flavor gum and a while ago her grandmother introduced her to the leaf.

“When I tried it, I was amazed how everything was so delicious,” she said.

The Asbury Park School District joined approximately 230 others in 29 states across the country that held Future Chefs events throughout February and March. The winning student from each participating district will be considered for the regional finals. Selected regional finalists will vie to become one of five national winners competing for the public’s vote on a Future Chefs YouTube channel special.

High School Students Show Spring Murals at City Hall

The artists are formally known as Asbury Park High School students and their spring-themed murals will remain on display through next month at town hall, said Asbury Park School District Communications Coordinator Chanta L. Jackson.

Asbury Park student murals on display in City Hall

Artists know the importance of honing their craft and seizing every opportunity to display their talents. Several budding artists from Asbury Park High School are doing just that. We are so very proud of the effort that both our students and their teacher put into producing such fine work, said Reginald Mirthil, principal at Asbury Park High School. We hope that the community of Asbury Park enjoys it as much as we do at the school.

Asbury Park Students’ Murals on Display in City Hall

(ASBURY PARK, N.J.) – Artists know the importance of honing their craft and seizing every opportunity to display their talents. Several budding artists from Asbury Park High School are doing just that.

“We are so very proud of the effort that both our students and their teacher put into producing such fine work,” said Reginald Mirthil, principal at Asbury Park High School.  “We hope that the community of Asbury Park enjoys it as much as we do at the school.”

Thanks to a partnership between the Asbury Park School District, the Asbury Park Education Association and the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, the student-designed murals will hang in the halls of City Hall through the end of next month. The creations are those of students from the high school’s comprehensive arts program. In most cases, this is their first blush at a major painting, according to Jean Johnson, art and fashion teacher.

“With this project, students learned color theory, the color wheel, value and how to create large works on canvas,” Johnson added.

This project is the third in a series sponsored as a result of this partnership. The previous two were murals displayed in the windows of downtown businesses during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. Funding for this project was secured thanks to second-grade teacher Jenny Hamilton from Bradley Elementary School, who wrote and received a grant awarded from the New Jersey Education Association.  

“This is an amazing example of the talented and accomplished youth who continue to achieve and excel in our city,” added Tom Gilmour, director of Economic Development for the city. “Well done!"

Asbury Park High, Monmouth University Make Debate Magic

Each Monday, Asbury Park's debaters get coached by their kindred spirits at Monmouth University. This partnership has been in place five years, and it's bearing fruit. On Feb. 21 the high-schoolers placed second at a New York City Urban Debate League tournament in the Bronx, their highest-ever finish.

Foundation, APP read to Asbury Park students

It may have been a celebration of Theodor Seuss Geisel's birthday, but students at Asbury Park's Thurgood Marshall school got a taste of everything from Nelson Mandela's biography to Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" to classics from Dr. Seuss himself Wednesday.

Nicolle Harris Improving Asbury Park Schools

Nicolle Harris has a passion for serving her community in both the schools and churches. Harris, 35, has spent the past two years on the Asbury Park Board of Education with hopes of turning around the school district. One of her biggest projects, she said, has been working on the curriculum committee to clean up and redefine curriculum for Asbury Park students.

Miss NJ to Asbury Park Girls: Beauty Alone Won't Win Crown

Achieving the title of Miss New Jersey 2013 didn’t come easy for Cara McCollum. There were people who doubted her ability to win and she was up against women who were both beautiful and more experienced than she was in pageants.

Reading By Miss New Jersey

Two years after capturing the Miss New Jersey crown, Arkansas native Cara McCollum is still advocating for youth literacy. The Princeton University journalism student visited Barack Obama grade school on Bangs Avenue this morning to forward her Birthday Book Project.

School leadership most important success factor

For decades New Jersey's school segregation has been among the very worst in the nation. How can that be since New Jersey is perennially a "blue state" in an ostensibly enlightened and liberal part of the country? Adding to the puzzlement is that New Jersey has the nation's strongest state constitutional law actually requiring that schools be racially balanced "whenever feasible."

Asbury Park student artwork featured in City Hall

In celebration of Black History Month, visual art students from Asbury Park High School have once again drawn portraits of those they admire. This year, artwork from students is featured in the lobby of City Hall as part of the annual Black History Month Portraits project. The artwork will be on display through Feb. 28.

High School Students Gear Up for Fashion Show

Students of Asbury Park High School will host a winter fashion show Wednesday, Feb. 12. Dubbed “A Night on the Stars,” the event takes place at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, according to a release from district spokesperson Chanta L. Jackson.

State Releases School Performance Reports

The New Jersey Department of Education released its annual school performance report cards Friday showing the Monmouth and Ocean counties' vocational academies leading performance at the Shore, and Lakewood and Asbury Park schools trailing behind.

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