February 7, 2014 

 

Fort Erie Teacher Cooks Up Success 

 

As someone who prefers to let his students shine, Fort Erie Secondary School (FESS) teacher Afshin Keyvani has been happy to place personal accolades on the back burner. However, the Business Education Council of Niagara felt differently and decided to spice things up by presenting Keyvani with the Lincoln Fabrics Ltd. Annual Teacher Award at its annual Partners Breakfast.  

 

The award recognizes Keyvani’s incredible work with the school’s hospitality and culinary program. For the past six years, he and the students of FESS have operated the Pomegranate Restaurant out of the school. The restaurant offers a full-service, fine dining experience. Operating every Wednesday night during the school year, reservations are required, but not always easy to come by given how the popularity of the program has grown.  

 

With humble beginnings, the Pomegranate first opened its doors in 2007. “We began with just five students,” Keyvani said. “That first night we served 17 people and I thought, wow, this could really turn into something special.” 

 

“Over the years, countless students have been able to develop the skills, abilities and professionalism needed for a career in the hospitality industry. Afshin has been a big part of that success and is very deserving of this prestigious recognition,” said Helena Tritchew, FESS Principal.  

 

In addition to crediting the hard work of his students over the years, Keyvani also said having the support of the school’s administration made a huge impact in making the program so successful. “That’s what I love about this Board. If you’re trying to do something that will benefit students, they will support you all the way.” 

Keyvani began teaching with the DSBN in 2004 at Stamford Collegiate.  He also taught at Port Colborne High before arriving at FESS in 2005.