The Golden Isles College and Career Academy is in need of a new culinary arts instructor.
Chef Matthew Raiford, who came onboard as a culinary instructor at GICCA in January, will serve his last day on the job this Friday.
Raiford has done a marvelous job in the position, said Rick Townsend, CEO of the career academy, and he has helped expand and develop the culinary program.
“He has a lot of engagement and experience in the field,” Townsend said. “He has a wealth of contacts and knowledge. He’s connected in the industry … At the end of the day, he worked really well with students.”
Raiford also owns and operates two local restaurants — The Farmer and The Larder and Strong Roots Provisions.
The career academy is seeking both a permanent replacement for the position and a temporary replacement who can fill in while the candidate search goes on.
“We’ve got (the position) posted, and you’ll have to go through the interview process, of course,” Townsend said. “Hopefully we’ll find someone to take over until we can hire someone to take over full-time.”
Job qualifications include previous culinary experience, according to the online job posting, which can be found on the Glynn County Schools website.
“It’s a great place to work. It’s a great environment,” Townsend said. “We have great students. We give our kids opportunities to work with local partners in industry.”
Connections to the industry play a large role in the program, Townsend said.
“The industry is a large part of that, tying in really what he or she learned in the real world and relating it to the kids and helping them find their passions, find their love for culinary,” Townsend said. “What I like about the program is, like our other programs, by the end when a student’s finished their pathway, they’ll know if they want to stick with culinary.”
The culinary program at GICCA has grown significantly since it began in August 2016 and has become one of the most popular at the career academy.
Chef Haley Meredith, a professional pastry chef from Atlanta, came onboard this year as a co-instructor for the culinary program.
“We are fortunate to have Chef Haley,” Townsend said. “… We’re in good shape, and we’re still heading in the right direction. We’re just looking for someone to help lead the culinary program with Chef Haley.”
Chef Raiford has been an asset to the program, Townsend said.
“He’s a good person, but he’s an even better teacher,” he said. “It’s amazing what he did with students in the classroom. He had a good rapport with students.”