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Police Chiefs Foundation awards $2,600 to students
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Manteca Police Chiefs Foundation judges Ruth Bricker and Police Chief Nick Obligacion study Alex Martell Jr.s third place entry of a floral horse shoe centerpiece in the Industrial Arts competition Monday. The winner received $500, second $250, and third $125. First place went to Debra Mendiola, second to Sean Murray, and third to Martell. - photo by GLENN KAHL

The Manteca Police Chief Foundation awarded $2,600 in scholarships to Manteca Unified Academy students enrolled in Culinary Arts, First Responders and Industrial Arts.

Chief Nick Obligacion and a cadre of volunteers spent much of the day judging the students for the quality of their products from food prepared in the student kitchen and café to the skills produced from the Industrial Arts section to the knowledge of the students in the First Responders’ classes.

The Academy is located on the campus of the Manteca Unified School District administrative complex on Louise Avenue where many employees have become regular lunch customers in the students’ small and tidy café.

Graduates over the last couple of years have moved on to culinary schools in New York and San Francisco. Those in the Industrial Arts, graduate with a welding certification. Welding is a sought after skill today and is taught by instructors Ryan Costa and John Van Dky Huzen.

Kathleen Long teaches the Culinary Arts section caring for her students like a passionate mom or grandmother would but in a stainless steel kitchen. There are both boys and girls in the program who join the schools as juniors where they serve guests both in the kitchen and cater outside events.

In the cooking portion, Candice Whitlock won first place with a $500 scholarship; Valerie Casados took second with $250 and Mariah Ruiz won a $125 scholarship in third place.

Candice put together a jumbo stuffed lasagna shell with a side of stuffed jalapenos. Valerie created a sausage pocket with marinara sauce for small pastries and Mariha, offered stuffed mushrooms with peppers, onions and Italian sausage. 

In industrial arts the students created table top designs made out of differing mediums of metal using floral accents in all of them. 

The first responders competed amongst themselves using the skills they had learned in and out of the classroom. The first responders’ outside the classroom use a mockup downtown with stores, shops and a normal city setting along with an obsolete school bus that has been turned on its side used for real life rescues. Their instructor is James Ward.