Twenty Years of Thanksgiving Feasts


High school students in Kelly Schwender’s food and nutrition class and the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Career Academy cooked up a full spread for the school’s 20th annual Thanksgiving feast.

Schwender has long implemented the feast as part of her curriculum, providing students the chance to use their culinary abilities ib all aspects of food preparation and meal planning. The high schoolers utilize menu planning and meal management skills to create the menu, prepare the food and host this feast that has now become a two-decade tradition at East Islip.

Feeding more than 200 guests that included the students, their families, teachers, faculty staff and district administrators, the luncheon featured eight 25-pound turkeys and 75 pounds of mashed potatoes, along with traditional sides such as stuffing, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, and homemade cranberry and apple sauce. An array of scrumptious desserts were also prepared, including miniature pumpkin pies, candied apple cheesecakes, carrot cake and chocolate chip pumpkin breads.

“I am thankful to East Islip for having this feast, and for all the students’ hard work and enthusiasm in preparing, decorating and hosting such a wonderful event that has been a fabulous way to kick off the holidays and bring the school together,” said Superintendent John V. Dolan.