On the Menu

Stone County Students Apply Classroom Concepts to Managing a Successful Business


Border Brew students


Brice Fortinberry

Managing a restaurant may not seem like an average day at school, but Stone County High School Culinary III students would disagree. 

These students manage the Border Brew Café, a local restaurant where they apply skills like marketing, event planning, and money management to real-world situations. 

Stone County High School culinary teacher Jaclyn Parker said she decided to start the café as a way to provide service-learning opportunities to her students, add tremendous value to their culinary experiences, and expand on the classroom concepts taught in Culinary I and II.

“I wanted to provide a third-year option for my students, but I wanted that option to have purpose with intentional learning,” she said. “I wanted them to be more than just a teacher’s assistant in my classes. The idea of a student-run business made sense as the next step because they could put into practice all of the skills they learned and gain management experience.”

Local support can often be an untapped resource for career and technical education, but Parker has found a way to develop a reciprocal relationship between the community and her culinary program. 

“Engaging with the community bridges the gap between school and work, ensuring our students are learning skills that are desirable in the workforce,” Parker said. “My goal for my culinary students is that they finish high school with experience and skills to secure employment and have scholarship opportunities to further their education.”

Culinary III student and Border Brew manager Kaja James said the knowledge she has gained from working at the Border Brew Café helped her grow exponentially as a student.

“I have learned how to manage money, communicate with customers and employees, and make wise decisions that will later benefit the café,” James said. 


Connections is the magazine for K-12 career and technical education (CTE) in Mississippi. The biannual publication features students, educators, schools, and organizations from approximately 50 career pathways across 16 career clusters. This Mississippi Department of Education publication is produced by the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University. Issues are disseminated in print and electronic forms in May and December each year.

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