Students at Tyrone Area High School have been missing their warm cookies, iced coffee, and sweet tea since June 2021 when the high school Eagle’s Nest Café closed for the summer.
The café didn’t reopen this fall because the cafe manager did not return to the district for the 2021-22 school year.
But students will have something to look forward to because High School Principal Tom Yoder and Food Service Director Amanda Owens both confirmed that the café will reopen soon, hopefully in late October or early November.
“The café plans to be open from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM,” said Owens, “We will serve second chance breakfast, Tyrone’s favorite fresh baked cookies, sweet tea, iced coffee, Buffalo chicken dip, as well as other lunch options and a la carte items.”
The school district and Nutrition Group have both posted job openings for the café.
The new cafe manager will be employed by the Nutrition Group and focus on food prep and sales, while a new district-employed Eagle Café Job Coach will support the student workers to develop job skills and interpersonal skills necessary in the workplace. Both jobs are permanent, nine-month school year positions.
The closure of the café has not only meant a loss of drink and snack options for students, but for others who were scheduled to work at the café as part of their academic day, it meant being reassigned to other places in the district for work-study assignments.
“I was supposed to work in the café eighth period but now I can’t. [Instead] I have to go down to the elementary school cafeteria,” said junior Emily McGarvey.
McGarvey and other students were moved to either the high school, middle school, or elementary school cafeterias, according to Owens.
At least some of these students will move back to the café when it reopens. The Nutrition Group will also offer $5,000 grant opportunities for students that work in the cafeteria and/or café .
The café was opened several years ago to teach food service and employment skills to TAHS students.
“The students get hands-on experience prepping food, learning about state-required production records, food safety, proper cleaning techniques, as well as other day-to-day work duties,” said Owens.
According to Owens and Yoder, when the café reopens, there will be some changes, including improved monitoring of students who use the café. Only students who are authorized to be there, either from lunch, study halls, or those with special permission from teachers will be allowed in the café.
Junior Serenity Myers, like many TAHS students, is excited about the café’s return.
“It is very inconvenient [to not have the cafe open]. I miss it,” said Myers, who often purchased drinks from the café during her lunch period.