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Posted February 5, 2015

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Sandia Culinary Arts Program Named to Elite 50 in U.S.

One program from each state was chosen.

The culinary arts program at Sandia High has been named to the 2014-15 Elite 50 by the National Center for Hospitality Studies at Sullivan University.

The Elite 50 list is comprised of high schools and tech centers that excel in the areas of culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and/or hospitality management.

“We are honored to have been the only school in New Mexico named to the list this year,” said Sandia culinary arts teacher Unna Valdez. “We have a very good program with some pretty impressive students and it is nice to be recognized.”

Students in the culinary arts program at Sandia have won a number of state and national competitions and students have gone on to some of the top culinary schools in the nation including Johnson and Wales. “Last year students in the program earned more than $176,000 in scholarships,” Valdez said.

In order to be selected as one of the Elite 50, programs had to provide an original recipe, two essays from students on the topic of “Why I want to pursue a career in hospitality”; and additional information on the school’s program.


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