Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 18, 2002 - Issue 61


pictograph divider


Gila River Grads Can Become Eatery-management Trainees

by Mel Mélendez The Arizona Republic
credits:Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic
BAPCHULE - Some are honor roll students who will go on to college, while others will graduate from the Gila River Indian Community high school and likely seek restaurant jobs.

But the work experience gained behind the fast-food counters at the Ira H. Hayes Memorial Applied Learning Center's restaurant could help those interested in restaurant work advance beyond minimum-wage jobs, school officials say.

"By the time they graduate, they'll have the experience to enter (restaurant) management-trainee programs at casinos or the resorts being built in the area," said Robert Giersberg, the school's food-service manager. "So their earning potential and opportunities for advancement will significantly increase."

Launched in April, the school's applied-learning restaurant program has about two dozen students. The venture marks the first partnership between an Arizona high school and Piccadilly Circus Pizza. The Iowa-based restaurant chain operates 42 Arizona restaurants, 15 of them on reservations, said Jim Corallo, a spokesman for Piccadilly Circus.

Students earn class credit and $6 an hour to work at the cafe. They work a maximum of 20 hours a week at the restaurant, which operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More than 100 students, 40 staff members and about a dozen Gila River Indian Community members flock daily to the school's Soaring Eagle Restaurant featuring Piccadilly Circus Pizza. The cafe features $2.50 hot meals, subs and pizza.

The charter school entered into a one-year licensing agreement with Piccadilly, which trains the students, provides its ingredients and use of its name, Giersberg said.

The restaurant takes in about $600 daily, half of that from the government because about 92 percent of the school's 150 students qualify for free lunch, he added.

The program will cost the school about $80,000, including cost of restaurant equipment bought from Piccadilly.

The school is attempting to raise the funds through state grants and donations, Giersberg said.

Hayes opened in September as part of the Casa Blanca Schools system. The school wants to offer other applied-learning programs, such as nursing, day care and computer training, Superintendent Carol Green said.

A benefit of the restaurant is that students learn about nutrition.

"We have high incidences of diabetes within Native American communities . . . ," Green said. "But all of our food is baked or broiled, and we really push those salads."

On Monday, several students hailed the cafe for its varied entrees. Sophomore Stephen Luther sat with friends eating pepperoni pizza or lasagna with salad, garlic bread and a strawberry dessert.

"Now we don't have to eat cafeteria food," Luther said. "I'm all for that."

Bapchule, AZ Map
Maps by Travel

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!