High school president wins national office
The only item on Jeremiah Schenzel’s menu was himself.
And his customers ate it up.
Running on the slogan, “Jeremiah: a simple recipe,” he was elected vice president of the western states at last week’s national SkillsUSA competition.
“I was so excited and happy,” he recounted. “I can’t even describe it. I was just ecstatic.”
As his campaign strategy, he created a menu showcasing the qualities he would offer in the position.
“Cost for all entrees is one vote for Jeremiah Schenzel,” the menu read.
He also handed out recipe cards listing the ingredients of a national officer, then a guide to preparation.
“Top with a zesty personality for a fantastic national officer,” the card instructed.
Each of his campaign ads featured a chef’s hat, instead of his name.
“It made people ask questions,” he explained. “Even though it was usually, ‘What is that?’ People thought it was a muffin.”
Schenzel joined the student vocational organization, formerly known as VICA, as a freshman competing in the cooking events.
As a sophomore, he decided he wanted to become a national officer, and last year he was elected president of the state organization.
“I knew I wanted to be a national officer a long time ago. Then when I went back last year as the state president, I was like, “Yeah, I’m going to be a national officer,'” he said. “But when I saw all the other candidates I wasn’t sure if I could do it.”
However, his culinary arts teacher, Penny Reynolds, didn’t doubt.
“He’s the perfect example of setting a goal then achieving it,” she said. “He worked his rear end off for this.”
Winning the election was only the first step. On his way to the awards ceremony with fellow students and teachers Brian Reedy and Susan Taylor, they came upon an overturned van.
A woman rushed to the bus and asked if anyone knew first-aid. Schenzel had just completed his first-aid and CPR training as a lifeguard and was among those to help the victims.
He carried a woman from the van and covered her in his official jacket to treat the shock.
“I was just getting over being nervous and it didn’t exactly help,” he joked.
Schenzel, 17, will add the new responsibilities to his already-overflowing plate. On top of the additional requirements of every senior at Carson High School, he is the student body president and plays on the varsity soccer team.
Despite the heat, he’s staying in the kitchen.
“I know it’s going to take a lot of time and I’m stretched pretty thin as it is,” he said. “But I think it will be fun and I’ll be able to do it because I have the support from my friends and family.”
Contact Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1272.