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OTA Mini Grant supports culinary experience for Bennett students

On April 15th, the students of Ms. Mastrangelo’s class hosted a luncheon at the Landmark Grille for their parents, teachers, and several district administrators.  The luncheon was designed to show off the cooking skills students have been learning throughout the year.  Mrs. Hodder had opened up her middle school kitchen to Ms. Mastrangelo’s class once a month so that they could learn cooking and kitchen safety skills.  With a grant from the Onteora Teachers’ Association and the generosity of Diana and John Klippel who allowed the luncheon to be held at their restaurant, this wonderful culminating activity was achieved.

Prior to the luncheon, Artist Ziemba donated an extra class time to students so that they could create beautiful paintings to be hung as an exhibit at the Landmark Grille.  The day of the luncheon, the four participating students set the tables, and began preparing the food for the buffet.  The delectable selection consisted of fresh cut vegetables and dips, French-fries, baked macaroni and cheese, homemade chicken tenders, and homemade baked ziti.  Dessert options were also all homemade; brownies made by the students, chocolate mousse, a light lemon cream dessert, and fresh fruit.  Students were aided throughout the day by Ms. Mastrangelo, Mrs. Parker, the classroom teaching assistant, and Mrs. Horan, the speech/language pathologist who has assisted the class on many of their cooking adventures throughout the year.  Navigation of the kitchen and overall assistance were given by Diana, whose help was invaluable. 

As the guests dined, they were able to enjoy a variety of musical selections performed by five Bennett students under the direction of Mr. Boyer, Mrs. McKenna, and a surprise guest, retired Onteora strings teacher, Mrs. Jeannotte.  The generous spirit of the Bennett community to help one another, even during the stressful time of state tests, helped make this occasion even more special and memorable for all participants.  It was a learning moment that will be a lifetime memory.

~Nicole Mastrangelo

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