Haumāna engage in workplace certification

new career options from UHMC


Photo by Kira Gomez

Seniors JayLe Arcangel-Stockwell and Shayana Tateyama perfect their own miso soup in Culinary Arts Class on Monday, September 19. The course is one of two extra-curricular offerings from the University of Hawai’i Maui College for KSM students.

Kamehameha Maui seniors and juniors are pursuing certification from two workplace programs in partnership with UHMC. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Culinary Arts began in early September. This semester is the second time the HVAC course is being offered to students, while the culinary class is being offered for the first time.

KSM Learning Success Coach Ms. Lauren Noa got these programs up and running in hopes to broaden students’ horizons as they make plans regarding their futures. It is not specifically for the students who know they want to do these things as a career, she said. It is for any student interested in learning the expertise and knowledge. It is simply another way for KSM students to gain exposure and skills that can be utilized in the future.

“You can learn a skill. With these certification opportunities, there are ways for you to continue your education after you get your diploma,” Ms. Noa said.

How interested are you in taking extra-curricular certification classes through UHMC?


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HVAC is a 40-hour online course. This includes Zoom sessions with the instructor, Cliff Rutherford, once every other week; up to five attempts to pass the EPA 608 Certification Exam; and in-person installation class labs. Following the completion of the course, students are able to reach four potential EPA 608 certification levels; Core, Type I, Type II, and Universal.

Last year, during the spring semester, eight seniors participated in the course, and of those eight, two gained Universal certification, meaning they are able to work on all types of units dealing with HVAC.

Culinary Arts is a 63-hour, in-person course that takes place at UHMC after school on Mondays from 4-6 pm and Wednesdays from 3-5 pm, with occasional Saturday Labs from 9 am to 12 pm.

The course is taught by instructor Dean Louie and Rosa Mariotti, an instructor at UHMC who is currently shadowing Louie.

[Students will] know how to cook a little bit more than just Top Ramen and using a microwave.

— Dean Louie, instructor

Prep Cook and ServSafe Certification Exams are done, and the students who successfully complete the course will be certified in those areas.

Both classes are non-credit, semester-long courses and are completed outside of school. There is no fee for the program, and this is made possible through the Hālau ʻo Kapikohānaiāmālama program. Transportation is not offered to the workshop locations, so students must find transportation to get there.

The courses are for seniors and may be offered to juniors depending on the amount of people signing up. Sign-ups are closed for these workshops, but keep a lookout for them in the future.

According to Mrs. Noa, “These courses will not necessarily be offered in the spring, but we are working on offering each program at least once a year.”

With the minimum number of students in each program this semester, Hālau ʻo Kapikohānaiāmālama is always looking for more haumāna to benefit. In fact, the pre-carpentry program was canceled this year due to lack of enrollment. For those interested in future programs, Mrs. Noa can be contacted for more information at [email protected].

The HVAC workshop started on Tuesday, September 6, and students have so far met with the instructor online and have started studying the text and work for the course. Senior Raige Velez is one of the nine participants in this semester’s course. For him, HVAC is not just something he wanted to try out.

“When I heard about the course, it caught my attention because it is something I am planning on doing after high school,” he said.

Velez said that through this opportunity, he can start his journey early on, before he graduates from high school. He is aware that a lot of work is needed to get certified, but he is up for it because he knows he will need it for his future career in HVAC.

JayLe Arcangel-Stockwell demonstrates her knife skills in the Culinary Arts class.
JayLe Arcangel-Stockwell demonstrates her knife skills in the Culinary Arts class. (Photo by Kira Gomez)

As for Culinary Arts, the course started on Wednesday, September 7, and students have been busy with in-person classes. From sushi-making to butchering fish and more, students have done much in only the first month of the program.

During their live class last Monday, the five students identified 25 different flavors and seasonings ranging from rice wine vinegar to smoked paprika, cooked their own miso soup, and received back their ServSafe exam grades for Food Handler certification.

Throughout the entire class, they were asked questions about the correct food portions and conversions of measurements, safety and sanitization measures that need to be taken, and types of seasonings and flavors used in fish stock and other recipes.

The seasonings from the flavor test.
The seasonings from the flavor test. (Photo by Kira Gomez)

Senior Shayana Tateyama said she signed up because she has a passion for cooking. She is learning how cooking at home does not compare to what they have been learning in the classroom.

“Everything he teaches, I now try to do at home,” she said.

That is the purpose of these courses, to have students learn through hands-on experience and further their passions whether as a career or in everyday life. Tateyama explained how the course is taught in a way that makes class not feel like any other class at school.

“We get to experiment while learning. Everything in the kitchen regarding taste is up to us, and I think that’s pretty cool,” she said.

Dean Louie distributes the miso soup for students to take home.
Dean Louie distributes the miso soup for students to take home. (Photo by Kira Gomez)

The instructor, Dean Louie has been at UHMC for about 17 years. He started off as a culinary instructor, became a program coordinator, and then switched to the non-credit program, which encompasses the community through certification programs, youth programs, and contract training.

The students he’s worked with throughout his years end up in different places afterwards. Some still work in the industry, while others moved on, using the skills while living on their own in college and in their homes.

After seeing a Facebook post of one mother who was nervous about sending off her daughter to college in North America, Dean Louie explains how there is one thing she definitely won’t need to worry about.

“She won’t starve because she went to one of our programs, and she’ll know how to cook a little bit more than just Top Ramen and using a microwave,” he said.

He explained that even if you do not see yourself getting a degree in culinary arts, through this program, you can still work in the industry and have another plan for the future. Getting this exposure and gaining all the knowledge he and Rosa have to teach, can lead to possibilities students would have never seen for themselves if they had never tried programs like this one.

That is what Noa wants to emphasize. These programs do not put you in a box. Completing these courses do not mean that you have to do it as a career, but it can open your eyes to the skills you need for the career you do want to do later on. Whether you know you are going to go into the field after high school, or you are passionate and interested in the topic, these programs are here for you.

“Take advantage of these programs and what they have to offer. Just try,” she said.