The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) honored 38 educators with the 2015 ProStart Educator of Excellence Award, made possible by Brinker, International. Additionally, Golden Corral presented the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award to Nathaniel Bradshaw of Wilbur Cross High School (Connecticut) and Barbara Hummer of Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (Ohio). The $5,000 cash prize is awarded annually by Golden Corral to two ProStart educators who excel both in and out of the classroom.
“Golden Corral is proud to support increased opportunities for foodservice students through its commitment to education and training, and celebrates those who tirelessly lead ProStart students in preparing for successful careers in the restaurant and foodservice sector,” said Judy Irwin, senior vice president, human resources and training, Golden Corral. “It is because of the commitment of educators like Nathaniel Bradshaw and Barbara Hummer that these students are able to realize not only the career options available in the industry, but their potential to achieve greatness in doing something they love.”
The James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award was established in 2003 in commemoration of Golden Corral’s 30th anniversary and as a tribute to James Maynard, the company’s chairman and founder. Bradshaw and Hummer were selected from the group of 38 ProStart Educator Excellence Award winners for 2015.
The NRAEF’s ProStart Educator Excellence Awards recognize exceptional educators who utilize the ProStart program in their classrooms. Each participating state restaurant association nominates its leading educator who has demonstrated a strong commitment to his or her students and to the ProStart program. Award recipients were honored at the NRAEF’s Educator Excellence Awards Dinner at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago on May 14.
“These experienced and passionate ProStart educators inspire and empower their students each and every day, and are setting a high standard of excellence for students and the industry,” said Joe Taylor, vice president of corporate affairs of Brinker, International. “They are highly deserving of this honor.”
“The ProStart program is a model for career technical education in the U.S., and it is because of our dedicated educators that ProStart students are not only exposed to the restaurant and foodservice sector, but given the opportunity to gain real-world experience and build lifelong skills they’ll use throughout their careers,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
One of the largest industry-supported career technical education programs in the nation, each year ProStart impacts more than 118,000 students in nearly 1,700 secondary schools across 48 states, the territory of Guam and U.S. Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific. ProStart unites industry and secondary school classrooms to train students with the skills that help them achieve long-term and rewarding careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Research indicates that students and educators agree that ProStart is effective in teaching culinary skills as well as restaurant management theory and practice, including critical employability skills such as teamwork, communication and professional behavior. 70 percent of students enrolled in ProStart programs indicate they plan to pursue post-secondary education.
ProStart Educator Excellence Awardees include:
- Judy Achary – Lakeshore High School (Louisiana)
- Mary Arthur – Oak Harbor high School (Washington)
- Brett Boom – North 13th Street Technical School (New Jersey)
- Nathaniel Bradshaw – Wilbur Cross High School (Connecticut)
- Barbara Bruesewitz – Wauwatosa East High School (Wisconsin)
- Dennis “Doc” Cain – Cape Girardeau Career and Technical School (Missouri)
- Audra Cooper – Grandview High School (Colorado)
- Brian Covell – Tucker County High School (West Virginia)
- Lonnie Donahue – Prosser Career Education Center (Indiana)
- Louise Dornbusch – Papillon LaVista South High School (Nebraska)
- Mary Ferrari – Coronado High School (Nevada)
- Charla Gillespie – Bowie High School (Maryland)
- Jill Gore – Hinds Career Center/Pearl-Rankin Career and Technical School (Mississippi)
- Stuart Gray – Bayside High School (Florida)
- Nancy Haney – Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School (Massachusetts)
- Cody Hayes – Rockwall High School (Texas)
- Ernest Hudson – Appoquinimink High School (Delaware)
- Barbara Hummer – Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (Ohio)
- Megan Jaquet – Career and Technical Education Academy (South Dakota)
- James Kuras – Carrier Educational Center (New York)
- Ann Leider – Elgin High School (Illinois)
- Molly Lithgow – Santa Fe High School (New Mexico)
- Cynthia D. Lovett – Southeast Bullock High School (Georgia)
- R. Lincoln Marquis – Louisa County High School (Virginia)
- Linda Marshall – Iredell-Statesville Career Academy and Technical School (North Carolina)
- Sam Musto – Saline High School (Michigan)
- Santos Nieves – William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical School (Rhode Island)
- Kim Plunkett – Vista High School (California)
- Karen Rodriguez – Huntsville Center for Technology (Alabama)
- Monique Sabby – Elk River High School (Minnesota)
- Liana Scribner – Newcastle High School (Wyoming)
- Mindy Shelton – Colton High School (Oregon)
- Mary Smith – Burlington High School (Iowa)
- Kathleen Vik – Chugiak High School (Alaska)
- Heidi Weight – Timpanogos High School (Utah)
- Bob Withrow – Burley High School (Idaho)
- Lacey Woods – Wichita Heights High School (Kansas)
- Rhonda Woods – Pelion High School (South Carolina)
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.