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Southwest Shadow


Lack of Hospitality Teacher Creates Gap in Staffing

Issues continue to arise within program
Joy Ryan
As Hospitality III students work on their “Managing Stress” project, a short presentation on the benefits of stress relieving techniques, substitute teacher Collin Dodos works on grading assignments. Dodos is the third substitute brought on to teach the hospitality class this semester. “I wouldn’t say that I took this course because I was interested in hospitality as a topic, but because it was a job that was offered to me,” Dodos said. “I do get how it could be hard on the students, but there’s not much that can be done in this situation. I’m trying to make the best out of it and to be positive in the classroom.”

Due to a lack of candidates applying for the open Hospitality position, substitutes are being relied upon to instruct the class after previous hospitality teacher, Catherine Viggato, left the school to pursue a career in counseling.

“For the most part, we’re just taking any substitute that says ‘yes’ to taking the class,” Principal Donna Levy said. “Of course it’d be great if we had a substitute with enough experience to really teach hospitality, but substitutes don’t really get paid well, so it’s hard enough to find people willing to act as a full-time teacher when the pay isn’t that good. It’s pretty much impossible to find a sub with all the qualities that we want.”

The current long-term Hospitality substitute, Collin Dodos, took the class after substitutes Robert Carrera and Mary Lammers left.

“Before substituting for Hospitality, I was the sub for Ms. Haley’s English class since she was gone. After my term was up for covering that class, they offered this job to me,” Dodos said. “I’ve worked in some restaurants in the past, so I’m not completely lost when it comes to hospitality, but I’ve just been following along with the set assignments for this course. I don’t think I’d have a lot to add on to the things that were already laid out for me, so that’s just what I’ve been teaching all the classes.”

Unlike previous years where Hospitality students were able to gain valuable skills through hands-on learning and regular projects, almost all course material is now completed virtually, with minimal opportunity for students to apply their learning in real-world situations.

“Hospitality has definitely been challenging for me because of all the transitions that we’re making between different teachers,” sophomore Addison Marsh said. “I don’t think it’s fair that we get such a different experience from the juniors and seniors who had Ms. Vigatto in the past. They actually got to learn about the hospitality industry, and they got taught about real skills that you would actually use in restaurants or tourism, but I don’t feel like I’m learning anything from the substitutes.”

Hospitality students use iCEV, an online platform that provides CTE curriculum and education, to complete a majority of their classwork. 

“The substitutes don’t really understand, or they just weren’t told that the seniors in Hospitality III would be on the third Hospitality course in iCEV, or that the juniors in Hospitality II would be on the second course. Because of that, they just sent everybody back to the first course,” senior Kai Parker said. “It’s literally just doing Hospitality I all over again, even though I’m in my last year of the class. I’m basically just retaking the sophomore class. It’s so repetitive.”

Students have been assured that as soon as a qualified candidate for the position is found then they will be hired as a full-time teacher. However, no interest for the job has been shown since it has been posted and advertised on websites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

“I joined this program because I want to work in hospitality in the future. I want to work on a cruise ship, so I was really excited to start taking Hospitality next year,” freshman Carter Sims said. “I don’t think that what’s happening right now is really the school’s fault, but if I can’t even get the program that I came here for, then what’s even the point of being here?”

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  • P

    Penelope WilliamsJan 18, 2024 at

    Holy cow! I have my hopes up that a permanent teacher will soon be found! If not… this will surely be a punch in the gut for hospitality students throughout the school!

  • R

    Rufus HornswoggleJan 9, 2024 at

    Oh, golly gee! I am absolutely flabbergasted that the hospitality students have to go through this harrowing process! The seniors shouldn’t be forced to redo Hospitality I completely!
    I certainly hope a new experienced candidate steps up for the sake of our students! This could be detrimental to the program…

  • A

    Ava NNov 21, 2023 at

    Wowwwwww, so informative and silly goofy!!