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ThunderRidge ProStart students have World Class experience

TRHS ProStart student preparing dessert

BEAVER CREEK, CO – As Vail-Beaver Creek, Colorado played host to the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, a number of skiers from around the world ascended upon the slopes of this winter haven. It was not only a world-class skiing event–it was also the site of a world-class experience for students from the ThunderRidge High School ProStart program.

Under the guidance of Douglas County School District Executive Chef Jason Morse, students Jake Schneller, Halee Paddock, Connor Bruce and Amanda Dover were assigned to cook for eight days for the Liechtenstein Ski Team.

“They’re out of their learning environment for eight days in a world-class setting at the world ski championships, to cook for this team, and it’s learning cultural differences, it’s learning how to push themselves up to the wall and then how to get past the wall, it’s teaching them how to take care of themselves and each other,” said Chef Morse.

TRHS ProStart students at Alpine World Ski Championships

According to the students, this was an experience that went way beyond just cooking. Meeting and learning about world-class athletes from another country is an experience they say has been extraordinary.

ProStart student Halee Paddock shared, “I just think how cool it is, because you get to meet people from a whole new country and learn about them and learn their customs – and what they like and don’t like about their food. [It] really makes you open your eyes and realize there’s other cultures out there.”

“Dealing with world class athletes – it really finally hits you that you’re doing something big, definitely getting a top-of-the line learning experience,” added Connor Bruce. “Getting to be here at this big event is a life-changing thing for me.”

Up by 5 a.m. each morning to prepare breakfast for the team, and concluding by 9 p.m. after the dinner clean up chores, these students had an authentic learning experience…one they fully understand and appreciate.

“Just seeing how I’ve had an opportunity like this shows me how amazing my education has been… no other students in no other state were selected to do this huge national event… but I have, and that just shows me I have a one-in-a-million opportunity,” expressed Schneller.

But as in all authentic learning experiences, the lessons learned were not just for the students, but for the ski team and Chef Jason as well.

“They’ve all taught me, this is how I like to be taught, this is how I like to be motivated, this is how I like to be rewarded. So it’s been cool to get inside their heads for a week and build that relationship…and my take away is that I can be a better chef, better mentor and interact better with our students,” said Morse.

Liechtenstein Ski Federation President Andreas Wenzel“My feeling is that they are extremely interested in looking at how Chef Jason is cooking, and what he is explaining to them, and I think these are the necessary steps to become a responsible cook later on for their careers. For us it’s fantastic how friendly, prompt, professional and attentive they were,” expressed Liechtenstein Ski Federation President Andreas Wenzel.

Of the many lessons and techniques the ProStart students learned, the main goal was achieved. Each student returned to Douglas County with a world-view of  a career in the culinary arts.

“I’m a proud chef. It’s like being a proud Dad and they have done exceptional. We pushed them and that is world class,” concluded Chef Morse.


February 11, 2015 | By SCPaulsen | Category: High School Education, Schools

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.