Alessandra Biaggi

February 06, 2020

Senator Biaggi, Superintendent Dr. Hamilton, Mayor Patterson-Howard celebrate allocation of $1M for Mount Vernon High School Culinary Arts Program 

MOUNT VERNON, NY – On Thursday, February 6th, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi held a press conference to announce the allocation of $1 million in capital funding from the 2019-2020 budget cycle for the revitalization of the Mount Vernon High School Culinary Program. She was joined by Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, City Council President Lisa A. Copeland, and Principal Ronald Gonzalez, as well as members of the District Board of Education, students, and faculty.

For many years the Mount Vernon High School Culinary Program was a jewel in the crown of Mount Vernon High School's Career and Technical Education Program. Unfortunately, in 2008, the program was discontinued due to budgetary constraints. This allocation of capital funding will enable the school to renovate the dilapidated kitchen into a modern facility conducive to student learning, improvements to include all new kitchen equipment, HVAC and fire suppression systems.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:

“I am honored to support the work of Mount Vernon High School’s Career and Technical Education Program by allocating $1 million in Capital funding to revitalize their Culinary Arts Program and renovate the kitchen into a modern facility conducive for student learning. Knowledge in the culinary arts can have a meaningful impact on the lives of Mount Vernon students both in and out of the kitchen. Culinary education provides students with technical skills and discipline to prepare for practical career paths, and cultivates space for youth to explore their creativity. Having confidence in the kitchen also empowers teens to make healthier food choices and expand their nutritional repertoire. I want to thank Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton and Principal Ronald Gonzalez for spearheading this initiative – I look forward to the completion of the new kitchen and the students’ success in the Culinary Arts Program.”

“Today is a great day for the students of the Mount Vernon City School District. The allocation of $1 million in state funding for Mount Vernon High School to revitalize their Culinary Program and offer students hands-on training in the culinary arts is phenomenal. The million dollar investment will go a long way to upgrading the school kitchen, and creating a safer and modern environment for workers and students. Our scholars have a great opportunity to pick up new skills and transfer them into a career. As a proud MVHS graduate, I know the impact that vocational education and workforce development can have on our young students. The revitalization of vocational programs is a positive step forward for our school district. The City of Mount Vernon is glad to have partners like Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton leading the way,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.

“We know that there are multiple pathways beyond high school to success. The pathway to college is for some. But the district has been committed to identifying multiple pathways so that our students who are not necessarily going to go to college can get high-paying, well-skilled jobs and be successful. And we have to be mindful that education in the world around us has changed so dramatically, and Mount Vernon is on the cusp of really being cutting-edge leaders into making that happen,” said Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, Superintendent of Mount Vernon Schools.

"It is important that Mount Vernon students have access to a wide variety of vocational training that will provide an array of career options down the road. The $1 million allocation in capital funding to renovate the dilapidated kitchen for the Mount Vernon High School Culinary Program is a critical investment in the workforce development of our students. I thank State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton for their leadership in giving every student a path for economic opportunity after graduation," said Lisa A. Copeland, Mount Vernon City Council President.

“Our culinary food lab is in desperate need of some cosmetic work, as well as some infrastructure work. We are here today to announce a very, very generous donation being made by Senator Biaggi’s office in the sum of $1 million to help us bring this culinary lab up to standard,” said The Mount Vernon High School Principal Ronald Gonzalez.