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Wando culinary students earn top honors

Wando CulinaryWando High School’s Culinary Arts Program once again brought home several awards at the 2023 Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in Denver, CO.

Principal Chas Coker said he was extremely proud of the culinary team.

“These awards are just a testament to the hard work and dedication they have poured into their craft this year,” said Coker. “I can't wait to see what this amazing culinary program will do next.”

All the program’s students, led by Chef Molly Gordon, came home as medalists. MJ Miller won gold in her Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation STAR Event and Breanna Williams earned gold for her Career Investigation STAR Event. Cooper Stapleton received a silver medal in his food innovations STAR event, and Darya Zlati earned a silver medal in the culinary arts competition. 

Additionally, culinary student Ramel Bagtas, the South Carolina FCCLA Vice President of Membership, attended state officer leadership training to help prepare him for a full year of incredible opportunities. 

Chef Gordon was selected as the 2023-2025 National FCCLA Head Culinary Advisor on The National Competitive Events Advisory Council. She also represented South Carolina by presenting a roundtable discussion on the importance of integrating culinary-related STAR Events into the classroom.

“We had an incredible time in Denver,” said Chef Gordon. “I could not be prouder of how our students represented Charleston County School District. FCCLA certainly is the ultimate leadership experience.”