Local student wins medal at Skills competition

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JULIE BERTRAND/Independent reporter

Wm. E. Hay student Jessica Zoller will have had a very busy end of the school year.

Not only was the Grade 12 student in the grad ceremony on May 28, but she also participated in the Skills competition at multiple levels.

Her baking skills won her the bronze medal at the Canadian Skills competition, which was held in Quebec City during the first June weekend.

“Skills is a competition with all the trades, from welding, to plumbing, hairdressing and baking,” said Jessica Zoller.

“It’s for secondary and post-secondary students.”

She had two six-hour days to accomplish a list of tasks given by the judges. She had to make two types of bread, two kinds of buns, two kinds of choux, two types of cookies and one occasional cake.

“Judges mark you on safety, taste, cleanliness, sanitary measures, how your plate your stuff, the wait, everything,” said Zoller.

For her occasional cake, she chose to make a Baileys coffee cake.

During her free time, she toured Quebec City with the rest of Team Alberta and enjoyed the local cuisine.

Zoller followed in the footsteps of her sister Corinne, who participated in Skills in baking and did very well.

“Our mother bakes a lot. We got into baking that way,” said Zoller.

Zoller believes that the support of the school and of her family made a difference.

“I just want to thank those people because they’re the reason I got far,“ she said.

While she readily admits that baking is a hobby of hers, Zoller is not sure she’ll pursue it as a career.

“I love it but it’s really hard to make a career out of it, if you know what I mean. You would have to move to the city. It’s really risky,” explained Zoller.

“There are so many food regulations. For example, you cannot use the same kitchen to bake commercially as you use for yourself. “

Meanwhile, Zoller has already applied to the University of Alberta Augustana Faculty in Kinesiology.

She is looking around for a summer job to fill her free time until September.

Friends and relatives will have this summer to enjoy her baking, before Zoller moves on to Camrose.

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