LAKELAND, Fla. — Students at George Jenkins High School get to eat during class - a lot.   

Don't panic. It’s required for the 220 students in Sherry Scott's culinary arts program.

“So why culinary arts?” 

For one thing, Scott said: “It’s like they are in a little party every day.”

It’s a party that requires a lot of work. Scott teaches non-stop: 7 periods a day, 5 days a week to keep up with the demand.

“They do four years in my program,” she said. “And when they leave, they leave with two certifications which means they could go in as a manager level at Applebees or Publix because of that certification they hold.”

And her students appreciate all the effort.

“I love Ms. Scott,” said student Kimber Brown. “She is a great teacher. Growing up, I wanted to be a chef. And coming into this class, I have learned so many more different things. It's just great.”

The school also has a full blown commercial grade kitchen thanks to Publix.

“By the time these students graduate they will have over 300 active hours in the kitchen,” Scott said. “Last night we catered for over 150 people for dessert. 

“We made about 2,000 mini-desserts yesterday and have catered full meals a bunch of times.”

If that wasn't enough, Scott works part-time at Disney. She's the sponsor for a half dozen student clubs - leadership America, the step team, and even the hockey team.

“I was surprised but I get it,” she said. “The boys (hockey team) asked for me so there I am watching their games.”

Just more proof Sherry Scott’s philosophy on teaching is so right on.

“I talk to them, not at them,” she said. “The kids, they want to be heard, they want to be seen. 

“They have their lives going on and if you can relate to them you can help them get to where they need to be.” 

And that’s surely a recipe for success.