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Tonawanda Students get a Taste of CTE with Cupcake Wars

Students baking cupcakesSeventh-graders from Tonawanda Middle School squared off Dec. 6 during the annual Cupcake Wars competition, hosted by the Kenton Career & Technical Center.

Eighteen students from four winning teams in Tonawanda Home & Careers teacher Valerie Velasquez's classroom had the opportunity to experience the main event at Kenton. The students received a tour of the facility and programs offered. They then competed in a winter-themed Cupcake Wars competition.

The teams had two hours to bake and decorate 36 cupcakes. They also had the challenge of incorporating a secret ingredient in their cupcakes – cinnamon, peanut butter, peppermint or almond extract.

Judges inspected and tasted the cupcakes and awarded first, second, third and fourth place. The following individuals participated in judging: Mary Beth Scullion, Tonawanda assistant superintendent; Dave Sellan, Tonawanda Middle School principal; Heather Sternin, Tonawanda School Board president; Megan Hamm, Tonawanda social worker; and Chuck Gilbert, assistant to the Tonawanda city mayor.

Student bakingErie 1 BOCES Culinary Arts students also participated as spectator judges, grading on overall presentation. Baking & Pastry Arts students offered tips and assistance for the middle school teams during the competition.

The winning team made a snowflake cupcake and included Theresa Beras, Alexander Brown, Matthew Chudy, Skylar Fess, Faith Pilon and Isabella Varecka.

The event was a collaboration between Mrs. Velasquez and Erie 1 BOCES Baking & Pastry Arts instructor Meghan Schaller. The partnership is designed to complement instruction in family and consumer science (FACS), technology, health and art.

The winning cupcakes

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