Leading and Learning with NC Everlene Davis 2021 award recipient Kevin Reese Sr.

Hi, and welcome back to the Connect FCS and podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Without your support and encouragement, this would not be possible. Today’s amazing guest is the North Carolina 2021 recipient of the prestigious Everlene Davis Award, Mr. Kevin Reese Sr. Thank you so much for joining.


I’m beyond thankful. I was recognized as the 2021 Teacher of the Year for New Bern High School. I came in second in the district, which is still an honor, I lost a… I don’t wanna say loss. A young lady who was absolutely amazing also of district, so I don’t take it lightly, I don’t take these things like me, I am extremely humbled at every twist on turn of his teaching career that I have all of a sudden. (1:56)

New Bern High School is the home of the bears, and we just went with the Bear Den bistro, we will cook two or three times a week. My students have created the mission statement, our vision state and our purpose. We try to make sure that it’s what I know. That every student that I have is not going to call in the arts. I completely understand that, but I also know that they will be productive to society, and the way we do that is making sure they have the job skills and the soft skills that they need in order to be productive to be able to go out and get a job, and the students literally do everything in class, I manage the money, but they oversee it, they do the panel, they create the menu, they send him in us out, they plan everything.  I guide them, and I’ve been so, so, so blessed to have students that wanna do it, I’ve had students who graduated from Johnson Wales Culinary School and other Culinary Arts schools, and students go on to just do amazing things in college. (6:59)

How many students are in your class? For the Bear den bistro,  I have a state cap.  I’m allowed 20 kids per class because I have a level one, which is like the beginning, my level two, which is an intermediate class, and I have a level 3, which is like an honors class that I’ve been very fortunate and I’ve had kids that once they take their level three courses.  After they have passed their ServSafe, I promote to them to sous chef and I get them their own chef jacket with the Bear Den Bistro and their name on their coat. (9:20)

My long-term goal is for us to have a food truck, it are able to do stuff on the weekends and get that work experience and make a little money.  These classes, they come up with some of the most creative stuff.  This is crazy, but we have our own seasoning line, where we’ve created our own seasonings. One of our lessons is Century and taste and smell. So we had a seasoning and taste competition where every student creates their own season, so the basalt is the one that I created, and oh my God, I can’t keep it.  It sells out, so is… And hopefully this year, we’ll be able to introduce the two seasonings that our students have added, and it’s been amazing. (11:45)

Where I live here in New Bern. We’re actually the birthplace of Pepsi which is what we’re known for. It’s a great place to raise a family.  My wife’s a principal, my kids at in public schools, all my friends and family kids go to public school, so it’s just… It’s a great state to be in play, this area is absolutely phenomenal as far as being close-knit and be a community and loving and supporting each other, it’s just huge. (17.46)


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• Email: Kevin.Reese@cravenk12.org
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-reese-sr-11ab028a/
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kereesesr 
• Instagram: ttps://www.instagram.com/kereese75/

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