MERRITT ISLAND – Members of the Academy of Hospitality Management at Merritt Island High School got a special treat during their tour of the Governor’s Mansion – a private visit with Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott.Scott spent about 30 minutes with the six students – telling them the history of the mansion and the story behind the new painting “La Florida” that hangs near the front door. They also met the curator of the mansion, the chef, and other staff members. The group was provided with a copy of a new cookbook produced by the mansion staff that has favorite recipes of first ladies.
The students were in Tallahassee as part of the academy’s “FAM Trips Program”, where students visit many tourism-related sites to see hospitality-in-action. They also met with officials at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to receive an update on legislation that might affect the tourism industry.As well, the students toured Florida State University – seeing many classrooms, labs, and the Seminoles’ BCS National Championship Trophy. They even saw Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston practicing with the baseball team.
This school year, the students have toured a Carnival Cruise Line ship, visited UCF’s Rosen College and hotels in Orlando, volunteered at several events sponsored by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, and participated in job shadowing at the Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn. Many students plan to be working at compensated internships this coming summer.The Academy of Hospitality Management is a 10-12 grade choice academy, which means that students from around Brevard County are able to attend. If interested in the academy, contact the high school at 321-454-1000.