Grant funds lessons in etiquette, job interviewing for Ford City students
Ford City High School students brushed up on their manners and job interviewing skills last week during a luncheon with business people funded by a $500 grant from the Armstrong School District Community Foundation.
The school’s first etiquette luncheon aimed to teach students how to handle themselves better in a formal setting and during job interviews, said Jolena McFarland, a family and consumer sciences teacher.
Teachers used grant money to purchase flatware and glasses to set formal place settings, while students cooked butternut squash and chicken noodle soups, and prepared salads for the meal.
McFarland and business teacher Donna Golab came up with the idea after serving as lunch monitors last year.
“We were shocked at some of the etiquette of our students in the cafeteria,” McFarland said. “We do talk about proper etiquette in our family consumer science classes, but this is the first chance at a hands-on lesson.”
McFarland said they coupled the formal meal and job interviews to simulate what students might encounter during a business luncheon. She plans to continue offering the luncheon at least once a year when Armstrong Junior-Senior High School opens next year.
Terry Khoury, the admissions director at DuBois Business College, attended the luncheon and interviewed three students – sophomore Zak Taimuty and seniors Shane Olean and Angela Wilsoncraft.
“It’s a good way to give them the preparation they need for when they do get out and start going to interviews and business functions,” Khoury said. “The more practice they get, the easier these situations will be.”
Taimuty, who helped prepare the butternut squash soup, said the luncheon was an opportunity students aren’t often afforded.
“It’s definitely been a useful tool to get ready for taking the first steps into the workforce,” Taimuty said. “For a topic like this, it’s better to teach us by actually doing something, instead of keeping us in a classroom and talking about it.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or [email protected].