Class of ‘22 Takes Over the Kitchen


The contract between San Diego Unified School District and the cafeteria staff didn’t include high school dinner service from the newly changed 4:45pm-5:00pm schedule. Middle school dinner used to take place from 4:00pm-4:15pm and high school dinner used to take place from 4:15pm-4:30pm because the cafeteria staff ends their work day at 4:30pm. In addition to that, searching for places to volunteer has been difficult for the seniors because of covid restrictions. Killing two birds with one stone, the Preuss administration found a solution: the seniors!

Vice Principal Ms. Nelika-Fai Watson of The Preuss School UCSD and Torin Childress from the Breakfast, Supper & Intersession Programs presented the Dinner Service Community Service Project to the Service Learning class and as of September 7th, seniors have been serving their peers dinner.

Service Learning is a class which is part of Senior Wheel that requires seniors to complete some form of community service. Now that the seniors have been presented with this new project, it will help them receive and meet the mandatory community service hours.

Uriel Rodriguez (‘22) professed, “I like the fact that I get community service hours and I get experience in the food industry.”

Not only is this project beneficial to the seniors, as the staff are happy to receive help during Dinner Service. Two of the staff members stay in the kitchen to supervise the helpers and assist them if there are any questions.

Alessandra Mata (‘22) shared, “I realized that there are not many students who get their dinner, so I was talking to the staff about it and she said that the school won’t get as much funding as they should if students aren’t eating their dinner,” (s)he continued, “I try to encourage my friends to eat their dinner because I know how important this is for the school.”

Taking on the role of the school staff has been very interesting for seniors. While some students love participating in the project, other students have faced a couple of complications.

Alessandra (‘22) claimed, “I love going to dinner service because I get to do it with my friends and it makes me feel less nervous.”

Yahir Solano (‘22) explains, “It’s a little hard to balance my time between sports, clubs, and dinner service.”

It is a huge responsibility for seniors seeing as they have to follow a lot of guidelines to ensure their safety as well as other students’ safety. In addition, seniors will practice their hospitality skills towards their peers. Many high school students who have received their dinner from the upperclassmen have had positive experiences.

Christian Montalvo (‘23) laughs, “I was a little confused at first because I wasn’t sure why the seniors were back there, but they were really nice and it makes me happy that they are helping the staff.”