Arlington Citizen-Journal

Mansfield school district offers adult education classes

Ben Barber Career Tech will offer grilling and baking classes for adults this summer.
Ben Barber Career Tech will offer grilling and baking classes for adults this summer. File photo

After years of watching their kids learn technical skills at Ben Barber Career Tech Academy, it’s finally the grown-ups’ turn.

This spring, the school launched a cooking class for adults that was so popular that people were turned away. Ben Barber is expanding the adult program this summer, offering a pair of culinary classes and three iPad workshops.

“(Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas’) vision is to have a full-fledged adult education program,” said Christie Alfred, executive director for curriculum and instruction. “We’re starting out small to work out the kinks.”

Since everyone eats, cooking seems like a natural place to start, and with all high school and middle school students using iPads, that seemed an obvious place to expand, Alfred said.

Chef Adair Smith and Chef Lisa Amoriello will fire up the grill for three-night classes of Summer Grilling & Campfire Cooking from 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 8, 15 and 22. Cost is $120, which includes all food, apron and a certificate of completion. The first two classes will be indoors, and the final class will be held outside over an open fire, Smith said.

Chef Michaela Lilljeeahl and Smith will offer a three-course Baking & Pastry 101 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. July 13, 20 and 27. Cost is $100, which includes all food, apron and certificate. Lessons will include pie dough, bread baking and kolaches, Smith said.

Both classes are limited to 26 participants, and registration is now open. Classes will fill up quickly, Smith said.

“They will definitely be a lot of fun and they will take home a little food,” Smith said.

Adults have been asking for the classes for awhile, he said.

“We want to give the community an idea of what we do here,” Smith said. “We’re going to do one more in the fall. My goal is to be like Central Market, teaching all kinds of classes.”

Michael Fore and Catherine McGuinness are accustomed to instructing teachers how to use iPads as education technology teachers, so teaching adults won’t be a stretch. They will team teach Starting Out with the iPad from 6-8:30 p.m. June 22, Moving Forward with the iPad from 6-8:30 p.m. June 29 and Exploring iPad Apps from 6-8:30 p.m. July 6. Cost is $20 for each class, which are limited to 30 people. Participants will need to bring their own iPads.

“You can sign up for one or all three,” McGuinness said. “The first class will be really being able to use the most basic skills. The next will see what we can do and feature. Then will be the cool apps.”

The classes will build on each other, Fore said.

“We will teach you how to go in and search for a class and show how the students are using them and how they can use them on a personal level,” he said.

This is just the beginning, Alfred promises. The program plans a series of courses for women this fall, she said.

“We have one of the only female auto tech teachers in Texas,” she said. “We want to teach basic auto tech care, healthy cooking, self defense and basic home care. We will always go with cooking and we’re looking at aerobics. Each time we will add something new.”

So far, it’s all good.

“Everything we heard back from the first class was great,” Alfred said. “The adult students loved the course. There are adults that want to learn for fun, that’s the most exciting part.”

For more information, go to

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451

Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM