Job Title: Culinary Arts Teacher, Mountain View High School
Location: Stafford, VA
The old adage, “you can’t go home again,” does not apply to Brittany Moler. Born and raised in Stafford, VA, Brittany graduated from North Stafford High School and the culinary arts program at Mountain View High School. “As a senior I wasn’t interested in most of the electives offered, but cooking sounded fun,” Brittany says. “As soon as I started the class, I fell in love with every aspect and ended up switching another elective so I could take culinary arts for half of the day— every day of my senior year.”
Her culinary arts instructor, Denise Baxter ’92, recommended Brittany check out her alma mater. “I visited CIA’s Hyde Park campus and it was so beautiful,” she says. “The curriculum, externship opportunities, amazing kitchens and equipment, and all of the hands-on experiences are so much more than any other school offers. And, of course, the CIA’s reputation was a big factor in my decision to attend.”
Not quite sure of which direction she wanted to pursue in the foodservice industry, Brittany decided to continue her education beyond her associate’s degree and complete her bachelor’s in culinary arts management. After graduation, she worked at Bistro Bethem in Fredericksburg, VA, and Bistro Brie and Bordeaux in Windham, NY.
In 2015, her former instructor, Chef Baxter, contacted Brittany with an interesting offer. “She said she was getting ready to retire and I should apply for her job,” says Brittany. “I was hesitant at first, but decided to apply based on my experiences at the CIA. I’d kept a binder for every class I took, and today, I reference the material on a regular basis with my students. The economics, marketing, and menu development classes helped me form my teaching plans. I wouldn’t have gotten the job if not for my bachelor’s degree.”
Brittany is thrilled to be back home at Mountain View High School and teaching budding culinarians. “The CIA gave me all the tools I needed for a career in this excited field and now I get to pass that on to my students,” Brittany says. “The college is on the forefront of technology and food innovation, and is teaching what is pertinent to the industry today. You learn so much there in such a short time, so take in as much as you can. Put your best foot forward and dive right in.”