DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Dallas ISD is preparing to tout student successes at the annual State of The District showcase later this week.

The showcase gives community and business leaders an opportunity to see how district programs impact student lives — and they’re getting some hands-on help.

“They put their hearts in them cookies, so be ready,” said Johnathan Battie, a junior in Lincoln High School’s Culinary Arts program. “They’re gonna be delicious, for real.”

Battie dreams of owning his own restaurant one day. But on Tuesday, he sunk his teeth into an assignment from district headquarters. He and his classmates baked hundreds of cookies for the State of the District showcase.​

“We had to whisk real hard to get them perfect,” Keasia Griffin said. Both she and Battie credit the guiding hand of the teacher they all call Chef Lewis, who also sees her role as going beyond the kitchen.​

“I have a lot of students who would be at high risk of dropout,” Lincoln culinary arts teacher Paula Lewis said. “My class is the one that gives them that release. I use it as an incentive… you go to class and we can do a treat. We have open kitchen day, but you have to go to all of your classes for all of us to do it. So, it keeps them all on track and hold each one of them accountable to each other.”​

And even in a culture as sports rich as Lincoln’s, baking cookies for the district’s big show is a pretty big deal.​

“I am excited,” Lewis said. “But, they are nervous. Sometimes they don’t get the opportunity to showcase what they do.”​

Students in the culinary arts program at Molina High School are baking cookies as well. Floral arrangements are being made by Skyline students studying floral design. ​