SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As part of Monday's Springfield Board of Education (BOE) meeting, the board took time to discuss the new culinary teacher who was hired this year.

Chef Derrick Gagner joins Chef William Doring on staff, as the district works to expand its offerings in more career and professional focused areas.

It is all part of what Springfield Superintendent Michael Davino said is his push to provide a more well-rounded curriculum and high school experience for students.

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"I believe in the comprehensive high school," Davino said. "I don't think that it should be purely academic or vocational. It should offer students a wide range of opportunities to explore not only their academic profile, but their creative profile regardless of where those arts lie.

"Wether it be in production or performance, or in this case culinary arts, they're all there, and they're places that kids can look to for careers."

Board president Scott Silverstein echoed Davino in his thoughts on the matter.

"High school is a time where students get to test themselves," Silverstein said. "Test themselves against the rigor of classes that will lead them to college, and test themselves against different job fields that they might be interested in."

As Silverstein noted, the expansion of facilities in the culinary department leaves more opportunity for students to try out the career path and see if it is of interest to them. 

"I think it's a great opportunity for them and it's one that's important for us to provide, because not every student is gonna follow the same path, so providing as many different pathways as we can to as many different types of students always helps," Silverstein added.