Shawndra Harmond, Technology Education Center, Fort Bend ISD, Sugar Land, Texas
Over the last 12 years, Shawndra Harmond has been teaching many CTE courses for Fort Bend ISD including life-time nutrition, interior design, and child development. When attending high school, Harmond describes that her favorite classes were related to home economics where she discovered a passion for culinary arts. That passion and interest led Harmond down a path to become a culinary arts educator for the past three years. Harmond says that working with students that share her same love of culinary artistry and cooking is something she looks forward to everyday. “CTE educators have the rewarding opportunity to be more hands-on in the classroom, so our students are self-motivated to succeed which is very exciting to be a part of,” continues Harmond on why she loves being a CTE teacher.
Many of Harmond’s students come into the classroom with some prior safety knowledge from home, but Harmond believes that OSHA safety training can broaden their horizons related to the real world and work industry. “I want them to know what a restaurant or business will often require of them,” says Harmond.
The administrative team at Fort Bend ISD discovered CareerSafe safety training while researching different credentialing opportunities and options for students to complete while still attending high school. Fort Bend ISD has enrolled thousands of CTE students into OSHA 10-Hour safety training with CareerSafe in order to receive an industry recognized credential.
In Harmond’s culinary classes specifically, OSHA 10-Hour General Industry safety training is used as supplemental material for her curriculum and is a mandatory prerequisite before entering the lab. “Safety is important for everyone, especially for my students in a commercial food lab and kitchen setting…We couldn’t function without safety knowledge,” she explains.
Harmond’s goal with safety training is to bring the culinary industry into the classroom and an awareness of what awaits her students inside and outside of the classroom. In a commercial food kitchen, students need to be familiar with many different types of equipment which she feels necessitates safety training. Harmond believes that without OSHA safety training, her students would not be prepared for work in the classroom and on the job, and be at risk of injury in a fast-paced work atmosphere. “It’s a great tool to assist them in the future, and give them a potential pay increase [at work] because of the [OSHA] credential.”
In addition to OSHA 10-Hour safety training, Harmond’s students complete routine safety audits to inspect equipment and commercial kitchen processes and procedures. Her students continue their personal safety training by learning proper general kitchen lingo and techniques for moving around and operating in a busy kitchen. With OSHA safety training and additional safety related to culinary work, Harmond believes her students are better prepared for success.
With the dedication and hard work of educators like Shawndra Harmond, we are able to educate students in high school not only for entry-level jobs, but also do our part to prepare them for the rest of their lives.