Penn College students to cook for thousands at Kentucky Derby

April 04, 2019

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Pennsylvania College of Technology will again be part of the hospitality team for the running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Twenty-eight students, 10 alumni and a faculty member are set to spend a week in Louisville, Kentucky, where they will join a legion of culinarians from Levy Restaurants, the food purveyor for Churchill Downs.

While there, the students learn to produce high-quality cuisine in mass quantities.

“Our students continue to be instrumental in the production of premium food service, working with some of the top chefs in the country, plus celebrity chefs,” said Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, who will accompany students to Churchill Downs for the 12th time.

Those top hospitality professionals include Chef David Danielson, executive chef of Churchill Downs, who previously held executive chef positions at Rockefeller Center and the United Nations Plaza Hotel.

Danielson and Jennifer Cooper, director of human resources for Levy Restaurants at Churchill Downs, visit Penn College each winter to interview students for Derby Week positions.

Those selected will work long hours to produce literally tons of food for the facility’s premium dining venues. Last year’s Kentucky Derby drew more than 157,000 fans.

Churchill Downs continues to add such venues, catering to the celebrity appeal of the Derby. New for 2019 is a 20,000-square-foot Rooftop Lounge and garden on top of the Starting Gate Suites, where 500 guests get a panoramic view of Louisville and access to several upscale bars and food offerings. The Starting Gate Suites, which added 32 luxury suites, opened in 2018.

In addition to students who will work in the kitchens, hospitality management students have been recruited to work in the “front of the house,” where duties include seating guests and answering questions, preparing dining rooms for service, and handling inventory.

Penn College students and alumni selected to serve at the Kentucky Derby are:

Applied management student

Jacqueline R. Dull, of Mohnton

Baking and pastry arts students

Gloria F. Boronow, of Denver; Sadie C. Bower, of Lewisberry; Amanda M. Brandt, of Etters; Sarah A. Bryan, of Bellefonte; Dane S. Druckenmiller, of Hellertown; Bailey L. Frey, of Watsontown; Tyler C. Geer, of Williamsport; Sabrina R. McClintock, of Mechanicsburg; Autumn L. Schabener, of Reading; Claudia M. Walling, of Williamsport; and Alexis N. Youse, of Pottstown

Culinary arts and systems students

Janelle R. Becker, of Fort Loudon; Chad R. Biichle, of Watsontown; Bridget M. Callahan, of Pottsville; Hailey R. Dunn, of York Haven; Nolan S. Lester, of Perkiomenville; Abbey R. Mefferd, of Boyertown; Jacob W. Parobek, of Seltzer; Austin R. Phillips, of Hanover; Christopher J. Schreckengost, of Cadogan; Noah E. Siegle, of Milesburg; Amaris T. Smith, of Williamsport; and Aaron Timmons, of Greencastle

Culinary arts technology students

Jacob G. Clarke, of Wilmington, Delaware, and Alexa D. Scatamacchia, of Fleetwood

Hospitality management students

Ireland Q. Hastings, of Shippensburg, and Mallory A. Hoffman, of Pottsville


Magdalen C. Bennett, class of 2018, culinary arts and systems; Sarah A. Brunski, class of 2017, culinary arts and systems; Amber R. Depew, class of 2010, culinary arts technology; Christine L. Faherty, class of 2008, culinary arts and systems; Wyatt E. Fink, class of 2016, culinary arts and systems; Benjamin A. King, class of 2014, culinary arts and systems; Victoria Kostecki, class of 2016, applied management, and class of 2014, baking and pastry arts; Alyssa J. Morales, class of 2017, culinary arts and systems; Marco G. Romano, class of 2011, culinary arts and systems; and Kori A. Treaster, class of 2018, applied management, and class of 2016, baking and pastry arts

To learn more about baking, pastry and culinary arts degrees at Penn College, call 570-327-4505 or visit

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated April 04, 2019