Reeds Spring School District Weekend Update

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Culinary Arts student Cierra Woodall (left) and instructor Jennifer Noriega (right) show off Gibson Technical Center’s Elite 50 Award.


by Ben Fisher, Director of Communications Reeds Spring R-IV School District


Gibson Technical Center’s Culinary Arts students were recently served a sweet surprise by being named to the 2018 Elite 50, an annual selection of the top high school hospitality programs in the nation.

The National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University in Louisville oversees the selection process for the Elite 50. Sullivan is known for having one of the finest post-secondary hospitality training institutions in the nation.

“It’s a great honor,” said Culinary Arts instructor Jennifer Noriega. “I was kind of surprised.”

To be considered for the Elite 50, schools had to submit an original recipe with photos or a restaurant management design; two essays from students on the topic, “Why I want to pursue a career in hospitality;” and videos, brochures, and additional information about the school’s hospitality program. Further considerations were given to schools that operate a restaurant, catering service, or similar food service operation as part of its culinary and hospitality training.

“We also conducted research to establish schools with strong hospitality enrollment and influence in their community,” said Lauren Gold, Director of High School Programs at Sullivan University. “Included are many schools we specifically paid visits to that we deemed to have strong hospitality programs.”

Sullivan University chefs visited Gibson Technical Center and complimented the students on their knowledge of food service and safety. One of Gibson Tech’s students, Ciera Woodall, plans to attend Sullivan after graduation.

“I plan to get an associate’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, and then get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management,” Woodall said.

Gibson Technical Center is part of the Reeds Spring School District but also takes in students from 10 surrounding districts.

RSHS trumpet player Robert Offutt was named to the 2017-2018 Missouri All-State Band


Reeds Spring High School sophomore trumpet player Robert Offutt has been selected as a member of the 2017-2018 Missouri All-State Band. According to the Missouri Bandmasters Association, more than 1,400 students auditioned for the All-State Band. Only 109 students were accepted into the elite ensemble, including 11 trumpet players.

“This is a great honor, which Robert has earned through hundreds of hours of hard work,” said Reeds Spring High School Band Director Josh Garoutte. “This essentially puts Robert in the top one percent of high school trumpet players in the state. This is truly an achievement which most band students never reach.”

The All-State Band will perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference on January 27, 2018 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.

Andrea Studer (left), Mercedes Campbell Barberena (center), and Marley Harmon (right) were inducted into the Reeds Spring High School Sports Hall of Fame.


Three individuals and two teams were inducted into the Reeds Spring High School Sports Hall of Fame on December 15. The ceremony took take place between the JV and varsity boys basketball games against Mt. Vernon.

The inductees included 2009 graduate Mercedes Campbell Barberena, 2013 graduate Marley Harmon, and 2013 graduate Andrea Studer. All three athletes were record setters in softball and were selected as Class 3 All-State honorees.

The 2010 and 2011 Lady Wolves softball teams were also inducted as well. Both teams captured district championships.

This was the 22nd group inducted into the Reeds Spring High School Sports Hall of Fame, which was started in 1997.