The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


Faculty members show off cooking talent in club

CHEFS Faculty members prepare a diverse range of baked goods in a cooking club.

A starter can get a batch of sourdough going, but it can also do so much more. For Head of Middle School Dean Clayman, history teacher Michele Santosuosso and Director of Academic Success Julie Pechersky, that’s exactly how they began pursuing their passion in cooking together. Over the course of this school year, the three have worked together to try new recipes while also leaving a noticeable mark on the campus.

Their journey into cooking began with an attempt to make sourdough bread. It proved to be quite difficult for the three, but it also allowed them to bond together.

“It’s a somewhat intensive endeavor,” Clayman said. “We started baking every weekend, and then we realized that we were baking far more than our families could eat at home. So we decided, ‘Hey, what if we each bake something over the weekend and then bring what we have baked to school at the beginning?’”

As the three of them began making more and more food, they began sharing their work on the campus. It quickly became a hit.

“People enjoy having some things for snack on a regular Monday,” Clayman said. “We call it CHEW, which stands for the Carbohydrate Exchange Window. On Sunday evening, we send out a CHEW text to everybody to let them know what we’ll be bringing; we’ve kind of evolved to having a different theme each week.”

Clayman’s weekly texts for the latest CHEW themes are often filled with puns and clever wording to add an extra level of spice. Santosuosso has become a big fan of it, as have other faculty members who look forward to a new message every week.

“Mr. Clayman is a genius,” Santosuosso said. “And he comes up with the most amazing puns. Mr. Hunter always has some sort of comment; he always has something to say.”

Santosuosso, beyond working in CHEW, also sponsors the Elevated Cooking Club for students. She looks forward to her two groups potentially cooperating in the future.

“Since Elevated is my club, that would be great,” Santosuosso said. “We have teachers involved in this; Mrs. Perchersky is always one, and Mr. Clayman is always one.”

As the group looks forward to the future, they hope to expand even more and continue to explore their love of cooking.

“I guess the only thing I would add is it has become readily apparent to me how food can be a vehicle to connect people,” Clayman said. “And as much as I enjoy seeing people look forward to consuming some of the things that we’ve baked, it’s spending the time chatting together which I most enjoy, and it was an unexpected benefit of starting a sourdough starter that the thing that it did mostly was connect with my colleagues more so than ever and I’m very much grateful for that.”

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About the Contributor
William Kozoman, Staff Writer