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Winning tourism team
NCHS tourism management students champs again
North Central High School tourism management team members, joined by teacher Darron Kirkley (left), include (from second left) TJ Love, Hannah Truesdale, Hailey Hunter and Andrew Galuppi.

For the second consecutive year, the North Central High School (NCHS) Tourism Management team was declared the winner of the South Carolina Lodging Management Program Championship.

Coached by NCHS teacher Darron Kirkley, the four-person team had to plan a world premier affair for a “Celebrity Apprentice” event as a test at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The competition was judged by professionals who work at the Culinary Institute in Charleston and/or are hoteliers in Charleston. The contest is an invitational competition that correlates with the standardized national tests.

Students were responsible for planning the catering menu, making invitations, formatting a budget and designing a floor layout for the event. The students also competed in a “Jeopardy”-style knowledge bowl and had to solve two case studies involving food and beverage and marketing. 

Winning team members include Andrew Galuppi, Hannah Truesdale, TJ Love and Hailey Hunter. They will now go on to compete in the national competition March 28-30 in Orlando, Fla.  The program is coordinated by the South Carolina Hospitality Association.

“These students have been working during their lunch and learning centers for several weeks to be ready,” said Kirkley. “Needless to say, it took countless hours of work and planning to complete the project. I am very excited about traveling back to the national competition this year with these students, as I know they will do great.”