The Denver Teachers’ Awards organization has announced the finalists for its 2013-2014 Distinguished Teachers Award and among the winners is CEC Middle College Culinary Arts teacher, Tom Bruce. Chef Bruce has dedicated 25 years of service at CEC, teaching high school students the art of commercial cooking, preparing them for advanced culinary arts training and for many, ultimately working in the field. Having begun his culinary career at age 15, Chef Bruce has worked his way up from dishwasher to Executive Chef over the course of his career and has worked at several well-known five-star restaurants, including the Rattle Snake Club, Hotel Colorado and the Harbor House (San Diego, Calif.). This experience has translated well to the classroom and training kitchen, teaching students not only the technical aspects of cooking, but guiding them on the pathway to success in the field.
The Distinguished Teachers Award recognizes outstanding teachers who have served five or more years in the Denver Public Schools. Selection is based on criteria such as: teaching ability, creativity in the classroom, commitment, rapport with students and the endorsement of school personnel. While the schools do the nominating, the judging, scoring and final selection, are completed by a committee of college professors.
CEC Principal Scott Springer has worked with Chef Bruce for eight years and has been impressed with his dedication. “As a master chef, Tom could certainly make a lot more money in the culinary profession, but money does not drive his passion for his work. His commitment to our students and CEC drives his work everyday and is quite evident. His passion for teaching young people the art of food preparation, responsibility, and work place skills brings out the best in his students.”
Chef Bruce is inspired by the collective CEC experience and credits his success to many facets of his job. “It is great honor to be acknowledged as a Distinguished Teacher for DPS, however a huge part of my success can be attributed to my fellow culinary instructors as well as that of my co-workers. I have a genuine and sincere passion for teaching students to cook. My greatest joy in teaching is to see a students overcome an obstacle through perseverance and to witness that special moment when the students achieves success,” he said.
The awards banquet will be held on May 8th at the Doubletree at 3203 Quebec Street in Denver.