Human Services Academy

Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management



Our Culinary Arts program earned national recognition from Advance CTE in 2016, winning the Excellence in Action Award for the Hospitality and Tourism Career Cluster.





Culinary Arts students explore opportunities for employment in the hospitality and food service industry through the operation of the student-run Central Campus Café. Students receive their ProStart certification from the National Restaurant Association and compete in local and national competitions. Students plan and prepare food, use institutional equipment, set up the dining room, and serve customers on designated Central Campus Café days. Students also have the chance to visit area restaurants and other hospitality businesses.

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice program gives students the opportunity to explore careers in police work, criminal law, crime scene investigation, and other related vocations. Faculty works closely with the Des Moines Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office to provide authentic experience in a vibrant law enforcement community. Students participate in mock crime scene scenarios and job shadowing professionals.

Early Childhood Careers

The Early Childhood Careers program prepares students to work with children from infancy to eight years of age. Students combine classroom instruction with practicum experiences in child care centers, Head Start programs, and elementary schools. Successful completion of the second year of the program enables students to earn a national credential, Child Development Associate.

Dream To Teach

Launched in 2014, Dream to Teach is an initiative in Des Moines Public Schools to serve as a catalyst for the development of future educators who are representative of the Des Moines Public Schools student population. To this end, the mission is to support students from diverse cultural backgrounds who desire to become Des Moines Public School educators. Students in grades 9-12 are provided a teacher mentor who supports them in achieving success both inside and outside of school on their pathway to teaching.  Dream to Teach is continually working on partnerships with community and higher education institutions to provide scholarships, programming and support. This is a SEMESTER class.

Hospitality/Tourism Management Instructor

Kristen Amfahr-Cox

Dream to Teach

Jill Dykstra

Criminal Justice Instructor

Matt Kratky


Michael Gettler


Shaun Leek

Culinary Arts & Restaurant Manager Instructor

Ciarra Bryson-Welch

Culinary Arts

Matthew Padgett

Culinary Arts & Restaurant Manager Instructor

Sarah Winchell