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Team Category: Class of 2024

Nicole Williams


Personal Experience

Nicole is from Southington, Ohio, attending Chalker High School and Trumbull Career & Technical Center in Warren, Ohio, with two years at The Culinary Arts Academy; graduating from both schools last May.  Nicole and her family, which includes one brother, are closely knit. Her parents are deaf, so she is often their interpreter.  A few ducks, chickens, cats and dogs, a guinea pig and rabbit complete it.  She loves to play golf, play the trombone, paint, and, of course, cooking and baking.  Her grandmother grew up spending her summers in Les Cheneaux, which is how Nicole learned about LCCS.  She likes the small class, its easy pace, and its emphasis on practice, not necessarily perfection.  A long-anticipated trip to Scotland and Ireland is planned to follow graduation, then she’d like to expand her home bakery business, which she had begun while in high school. 

Kaitlyn Schleicher


Personal Experience

Kaitlyn attended Western Michigan University, then Oakland University in Rochester Hills for a liberal arts degree.  She has been working in restaurants for over 13 years, and on the side as a dog trainer for three years.  In her words, she has two amazing parents, an older brother and sister, a niece and nephew, and is a “dog mom” to a chocolate lab named Brew.  She loves to hike, kayak, fish, hunt, draw and paint.  Kaitlyn has always had a passion for food and cooking. When she began living on her own, she started creating her own recipes.  This is when she realized “this could be an awesome career that wouldn’t seem like a job”. She loves LCCS because of the small class and hands-on approach and interacting with the chef, learning something new every day.  After graduation, she would like to start her own catering business or work as a private chef, and maybe eventually own a restaurant or food truck.

Michael Medrano


Personal Experience

Michael is from Bay City, Michigan. With his wonderful, warm smile, one quickly realizes that he is the free spirit of the class.  In listing his previous locations, he said that he has lived in many towns and worked in equally as many pizza places, counting each one as a “blast and the best time ever”.  When asked about his family and how many brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews, etc., he responded, “22 altogether”!  He loves going for walks and listening to music. He stated that he enrolled at LCCS to better his life and make something out of himself.  One of the things he has loved learning is how to pair different spices to bring out the best flavors in dishes. And when asked where he is headed from here, he answered, “where the wind takes me”!  

Kaidence McNamara (1)


Personal Experience

A native of Petoskey, Kaidence graduated from Petoskey High School. She has two sisters, Haleigh (12) and Kinleigh (9), and Gooze, the dog. Kaidence loves to bake, but also hiking, trail riding, and almost anything outdoors. She worked in a variety of positions in a small local restaurant during high school and through the summer before coming to LCCS to learn (in her words) as much as possible about food, and have fun, and make new friends, Thus, she loves how small and close this class has become. She said her goal is to be the best cook she can be and have good grades!  After graduating, she hopes to travel a bit, then become a private chef.  Kaidence particularly likes preparing Asian and Mexican foods and making different pastas.

Elijah Leavell (1)


Personal Experience

Elijah was born in Vermont, but has lived in Cedarville since he was ten, with his parents and two siblings, brother Gabe (17), and sister Story (7), and two dogs, a poodle named Moses and a yorkie named Phoebe.  Elijah was homeschooled, which he says allowed him to devote more time to his love of the art of cooking. He also enjoys anything outdoors and playing the guitar.  He enrolled in LCCS to become a fine dining chef.  He loves the creativity that is encouraged, and ”the freedom to blossom and flourish”.  His goal has been to learn as much as he can to enable him to cook at amazing culinary establishments, particularly in Nashville because he loves its music, and is excited about the city’s budding culinary scene, which is focused on blending Southern comfort food with today’s innovative creations.    

Chance Davis (1)


Personal Experience

Chance was born in Boyne City, Michigan. He graduated from high school in Florida and has attended college and worked in multiple restaurants throughout the Boyne City/Petoskey area.  Along with his love for cooking are electronic sports, shooting and fishing, and general studies.  He chose LCCS to learn as much as he could about culinary arts and the functioning of a restaurant kitchen, to achieve a well-paying job in the industry.  He particularly likes the small class and ready access to (as he puts it) human and non-human resources.  Chance’s goal upon graduation is to work at one of Detroit’s newest award-winning restaurants, Selden Standard, which specializes in “New American small plates” described as “rustic, fun-fare”, or SheWolf, noted for its contemporary Italian cuisine.

Chloe Convery (1)


Personal Experience

A native of St. Ignace, Chloe attended Northern Michigan University’s School of Art & Design.  She enjoys painting, photography, and skateboarding. Her creativity and love for cooking and baking, plus her experiences working in the restaurant industry since she was 14, led her to enrolling in LCCS.  She appreciates its positive, hands-on learning environment, and its teamwork approach.  She has always felt that cooking is a way to take care of other people and bring them together.  She is looking forward to this summer’s internship, with hopes to someday operate her own food truck.

Dan Cerney


Personal Experience

Dan is originally from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, graduating from high school there before attending Michigan Technological University.  When it comes to his culinary education, he slyly states that he has had “extensive dishwashing experience” and two years as a short order cook.   Dan’s parents are retired engineers, and he has an older brother. He enjoys reading, learning about military history, and playing video games. And when it comes to cooking, everything is regarded as an adventure with a little mystery attached. This may be a key reason why his future goal is to cook on high-end cruise ships. 

Shelli Arnold


Personal Experience

Shelli was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and raised in Cedarville. She and her husband, Frank Arnold, are highly regarded in Les Cheneaux for their ever-caring community support.  Their annual outdoor Christmas display is always a showstopper, and last year they invited people inside to view their breathtaking creation of an illuminated, snowy city, skyscrapers, and all, beautifully decorated for the holidays.  They have two daughters and a grandson; and when Shelli recently retired as a licensed practical nurse, she decided to pursue her fascination with food and its preparation. She enrolled in LCCS to learn as much as she could to educate herself and others on how to improve metabolic health.  She particularly appreciates the school’s hands-on approach and Chef Zach’s personable support.  As a sidenote, Shelli loves camping, gardening, and, of course, Christmas!