Development of the Standards

Beginning in 2014, a set of 9 Food Education Standards were drafted by the Pilot Light staff. Recognizing the need for diverse perspectives and areas of expertise, we committed to hosting the first Food Education Summit in 2017, which convened 25 experts and community members in Chicago to further develop these Standards. In preparation, participants completed surveys about priorities for food education, which, during the two-day Summit, were refined through consensus-building activities into a list of standards and accompanying, age-appropriate K–12 competencies. The resulting Standards and competencies encompass 31 themes, the most commonly endorsed being food choice, health, food production, food access, and culture. The FES were then reviewed and revised by a team of teachers through a series of 3 follow-up meetings, along with online blog feedback, and eventually condensed from 9 Standards to the final 7 outlined in this document.

Through this process of consensus-building with experts from multiple disciplines, as well as centering the perspective of community members and teachers, the Pilot Light FES provide evidenced-based standards that can be used across different school and community sociodemographics to further the reach of the Pilot Light educational model.


Authors and Acknowledgements

Teacher Development Team

  • Vicki Drewa, Ray Elementary
  • Chandra Garcia-Kitch, Ray Elementary
  • Charles Rosentel, Pritzker College Prep
  • Luke Albrecht, Ray Elementary
  • Gabriel Hoerger, Disney II Elementary
  • Irene Metropulos, Disney II Elementary
  • Amy Peterson, Disney II Elementary
  • Richard Schrishuhn, Pritzker College Prep
  • Kristine Wilber, Disney II Elementary


Participants from the Food Summit:

  • John Allegrante, PHD, Professor, Teachers College at Columbia University
  • Whitney Bateson, MPH, RD, Director of Nutrition and Wellness, Chartwells K12
  • Shari Berland, MPA, Education Consultant
  • Deborah Burnet, MD, MA, Section Chief, General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago;
  • Medicine Vice-Chair for Faculty Development, University of Chicago
  • Bogdana Chkoumbova, Chief of Schools, Network 10 CPS
  • Chandra Garcia-Kitch, Pilot Light Teacher, Chicago Public Schools
  • William Hook, Principal, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences
  • Tynisha Jointer, LCSW, M.Ed, Behavioral Health Specialist, Chicago Public Schools
  • Pam Koch, EDD, RD, Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy
  • Research; Associate Professor, Columbia University
  • David K. Lohrmann, PHD, MCHES, Professor and Chair, Indiana University School of Public Health
  • Matthias Merges, Co-Founder, Pilot Light Chefs; Chef/Owner, Folkart Restaurant Management
  • Erin Meyer, MS, RD, Executive Director, Spence Farm Foundation
  • Jeanne Nolan, Founder and President, Organic Gardener Ltd.
  • Joshua Perkins, Regional Executive Chef, Chartwells
  • Joann Peso M.Ed, RD, LDN, CHES, Director of Nutrition, Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Charles Rosentel, World History Teacher, Pritzker College Prep
  • Marshall Shafkowitz, Executive Dean, Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute
  • Alan Shannon, Midwest Public Affairs Director, USDA
  • Stephanie Shapiro-Berkson, Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Lindsey Shifley, Super Ambassador, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
  • Jim Slama, CEO, Family Farmed/Good Food EXPO
  • Tony Quartaro, Culinary Director, Apple Wise
  • Michael Quinn, PHD, Sr. Research Scientist and Social Psychologist, Dept of Medicine, UChicago
  • Carolyn Sutter, PHD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Jennifer Wildes, PHD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience; Director, Eating Disorders Program, University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences
  • Katie Wilson, PHD, SNS, President, KtConsulting



  • Pilot Light
  • Derek Douglas,  Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs, University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement
  • Jennifer Nudo, Student Assistant, The Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago
  • Ryan Priester, Director of The Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago

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