Mericle places second in baking competition

Mericle competing at the Iowa Central Community College baking competition. Photo by Kim Demory

In just a few weeks, Michelle Mericle will be walking across the graduation stage, ready to receive her diploma and ready to follow her passion that she said started when she was very young.

Now, it’s about ready to become a reality thanks in part to Lisa Tapper’s high school Consumer Science classes and the other part due to Iowa Central Community College’s dual credit culinary arts classes.

“When I was little, I would wake up early to watch Cake Boss,” admitted Mericle about her love of baking. “But I never really thought of it as a profession.”

Years later, when she got to high school, she started taking baking and cooking classes with Tapper, and that’s when she started thinking about pursuing her hobby as a career. Her junior year, Mericle enrolled in a dual food prep and knives skills class at ICCC, which meant she earned both high school credit towards graduation as well as free college credits. That class opened the door for her to be able to compete in a culinary competition later in the year at ICCC with teammates Kayden Helmke and Dakota Stiltz.

She was very excited for the opportunity and happy that they knew in advance what they would be cooking and could practice at home. Mericle enjoyed the experience.

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