New Pizza Chef Enters The Kitchen


Mariah Miller

Pizza chef Melissa Young poses with pizza ready to be passed through the new pizza oven in the cafeteria Nov. 9, 2022.

By Mariah Miller, Reporter

At the beginning of the year Chef Mellisa Young started her job as the first full time pizza chef, along with a brand new $20,000 pizza oven in the lunchroom’s kitchen. Before Young, there was another chef who worked with pizzas and other food. Now with the new pizza oven and new pizza chef who specializes in making pizzas, the school is now able to produce better quality pizzas along with a greater quantity of pizzas. 

Sophomore Alivia Visger regularly eats the school pizza. 

“This year’s pizza is definitely more fancy than last year. The pizza is greasier than last year but also cooked better,” Visger said. 

With the brand new pizza oven, the school district had to save and budget for this new and big expense. The director of the food service for the school district, Jamie Wilson, worked with his team to budget and save for the pizza oven.

“We just kept setting aside and saving for it, we couldn’t just go out and purchase a $20,000 piece of equipment. We needed to make sure we had the money,” Wilson said. 

Wilson believed this oven was much needed and worth the time and money. Before they started to budget for the new pizza oven, the old ovens were failing. The new oven would produce better pizza and would be more reliable. 

“We saw a need and we planned for it years ago,” Wilson said. 

When deciding on who to hire for the new pizza chef position, Wilson wanted someone who would work well with the students, staff, and the tasks being asked to do. Young fit this criteria along with previous experience with these types of ovens. This would make it an easy transition into the new job. 

“I started working at restaurants at 14 years old. I love working here, it’s a great team of people and seeing all the students is pretty awesome too,” Young said. 

With all these things Wilson knew she was the perfect fit for the position. 

“Since the beginning of the school year, students get on average 290-350 slices of pizza a day at lunch,” Young said. 

Young spends her morning preparing anywhere from 38-45 pizzas a day to get ready to serve them to students. 

Pizza chef Melissa Young cuts pizza to serve to students for lunch in the cafeteria Nov. 9, 2022. (Mariah Miller)
Pizza chef Melissa Young pulls pizza out of the warmer before serving it to students for lunch in the cafeteria Nov. 9, 2022. (Mariah Miller)