Kristin Montgomery, a 2012 graduate of Little Miami High School and the Warren County Career Center Culinary program, was recognized recently by Ohio College Tech Prep Southwest Region for their student spotlight. WCCC Culinary Instructor Kate Wilson described Kristin in her nomination as a people person who is competitive and dedicated.
Baking has always been a part of Kristin’s life. She recalls baking with her grandmother every day after school, so choosing the culinary program was natural. Once she was in the kitchen, she realized how much she loved the fast-paced, adrenaline-producing work. “It fuels me,” she says.
Ms. Wilson states that Kristin is “a very focused and dedicated young lady and student.” While in high school, Kristin held a part-time job, played on the soccer team, and was inducted into the National Honor Society at Little Miami High School and the National Technical Honor Society at the Warren County Career Center.
Looking back at her time at WCCC, Kristin says that she enjoyed the cooking competitions the most. She believes they prepared her for real life both in and out of the kitchen. She says that she learned how to work well on a team, and how to perform under pressure. Kristin recalls one competition in particular, where they had to cook fish. Kristin hates fish, but her team practiced cooking it every single day. Kristin says “I can cook a mean fish, now!” This year, she had the privilege of being a judge in the competitions. Much like cooking shows on television, she explains, students must prepare an appetizer, entree, salad, and dessert in 70 minutes. She recalls the thrill of the whole experience and how she learned to adapt and rebound from mishaps. Now, in her college classes, instructors will ask her “Are you ready to cook for these 10 people?” Kristin can confidently say “Yes! I’ve cooked for 300 people at a banquet at my career center, this is no big deal!”
To students who are on the fence about going to a career tech school, Kristin encourages them to give it a try. “It’s hard to leave your friends at your home school,” she says, but “friends come and go, your career and passion will be there for the rest of your life.”
Kristin is currently attending Sinclair Community College, majoring in Culinary Arts. Since she was part of Career Tech, she received a $3,000 Miami Valley Tech Prep scholarship. She also earned the $500 Bonnie Burkhart Memorial Scholarship and a $2,500 National Restaurant Association scholarship. These covered her entire first year of classes. She also earned a total of seven college semester hours while still in high school. Kristin has already been hired to work at an Italian bistro. Kristin said that she would love to eventually bake for a living.