Special Delivery! Davis Career Center Students Bring Handmade Cookies and Joy to Superintendent Reid

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
September 07, 2022

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid got a taste of the “Davis Magic” Wednesday when young adults with disabilities hand-delivered cookies they made from scratch to her office. The students from FCPS' Davis Career Center are enrolled in the Culinary Arts program which teaches students skills like baking, cooking, catering, and food service. The apple and flower-shaped cookies, adorned with colorful icing, were a sweet surprise for the new superintendent. 

“These look incredible! Wow! My cookies never look this good!” Dr. Reid said in delight as culinary student Isvar Komakula handed her the cookie bouquet. 

Students deliver cookies to Dr. Reid

The students, dressed in their white chef coats, said they wanted to deliver the cookies to welcome Dr. Reid to a new school year at FCPS. They explained how they made the cookies using a cookie cutter to create the flower and apple shapes, then used piping bags to decorate with royal icing. Culinary teacher Lauren Forshay said the process is a lot of hard work, but the students light up when they see what they’ve accomplished. 

“To be able to see a product from start to finish is very educational and very rewarding for these students,” Forshay said. 

“My favorite part of this class is probably icing the cookies,” said culinary student Susan He. “I have to slow down. I struggled a bit with the outline, but I’m getting better!”

Student Susan He works on icing cookies at Davis Career Center.
Student Susan He works on icing cookies with teacher Lauren Forshay at Davis Career Center. 

Davis Career Center serves students ages 18 to 22 who have a range of special needs including intellectual disabilities, autism, visual impairments, and deaf or hard of hearing. In addition to culinary skills, students learn basic career building skills such as showing up on time, being flexible, and working in a group setting. 

“I call it the ‘Davis Magic' because there’s a blossoming that happens when they come to our center,” said principal Chad Clayton. “You see them gain a ton of independence and confidence through the year.”

Students smile with Dr. Reid.
Kendall Head, Juan Ramirez Ramirez, Isvar Komakula, Dr. Reid, Susan He, and culinary teacher Lauren Forshay. 

“I love working as a team,” said culinary student Kendall Head. “We have to all be on the same page. I love working with my friends.” 

Over the next few months, Davis culinary students will prepare food and provide catering services for local businesses, school sporting events, and holiday gatherings. 

“The joy these students bring to their work is amazing,” Dr. Reid said. “I love hearing about their teamwork and their team building skills. They have so much pride in their work. We can all learn something from slowing down and appreciating what goes into these baked goods that bring joy to others.”

To learn more about booking catering services through Davis Career Center, please visit their website