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Prostart High School Educators Recognized In Chicago By The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation - Educators Steven Oubre And Mike Chrostowski Take Top Honors

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced last night the winners of the 2017 ProStart Educator of Excellence Awards for outstanding achievement in high school culinary and restaurant management education. 

Forty-two Culinary and Restaurant Management Educators from Across the Nation Celebrated at the National Restaurant Association Show

CHICAGO, IL – May 19, 2017 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced last night the winners of the 2017 ProStart® Educator of Excellence Awards for outstanding achievement in high school culinary and restaurant management education. 
ProStart® is the NRAEF’s nationwide high school program that unites classroom and industry to develop the talent of tomorrow’s workforce. The program reaches nearly 140,000 students in more than 1,700 high schools across 50 states, the Territory of Guam, and at Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and the Pacific.
“Every year I am amazed at the wonderful educators who make our ProStart program possible, and we are excited to honor the best of the best who go above and beyond to inspire the next generation of foodservice leaders,” said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. “Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. We are lucky to have you on our team.”
Selected from the 2017 ProStart Educator of Excellence Award winners, the NRAEF and Golden Corral Corporation are also proud to announce that the 2017 recipients of the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award are Mike Chrostowski of Olathe Public Schools (Kansas) and Steven Oubre of Woodlawn High School (Louisiana).
From left to right: Rob Gifford, Lance Trenary, Judy Irwin, Steven Oubre, Mike Chrostowski, and Greg Hamer. 
Established over a decade ago as a tribute to Golden Corral’s founder, James Maynard, the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award honors two select ProStart educators for their tireless dedication to providing remarkable experiences to their ProStart students. Both honorees received a plaque and a gift of $5,000, presented by Judy Irwin, Vice President of Human Resources and Training for Golden Corral, and Lance Trenary, President and CEO of Golden Corral, at a special gala dinner.
“Golden Corral has been a longtime supporter of the ProStart program and we are thrilled to honor these incredible educators who help students make their dreams a reality,” said Lance Trenary. “This year, Golden Corral's founder James Maynard donated an additional $200,000 to the NRAEF so programs like ProStart can continue to grow and succeed.”
The 2017 Educator of Excellence Award Winners were honored at a gala dinner in Chicago, Illinois in conjunction with the 2017 National Restaurant Association’s Hotel-Motel Show® that takes place May 20-23.
See below for a complete list of winners.
The 2017 ProStart Educators of Excellence Awardees are:
  • Joy Anderson – C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Virginia)
  • Andrea Aragon – Early College High School - Career Pathways (Colorado)
  • Jocelyn Aventurado – Foster High School (Texas)
  • Lindsay Baker – Middletown High School (Delaware)
  • Kelly Biggs – Southwestern Randolph High School (North Carolina)
  • Kyndal Bockelman – Glendale High School (Missouri)
  • Glee Brechler – James Madison Memorial High School (Wisconsin)
  • Mike Chrostowski – Olathe Public Schools (Kansas)
  • Andrew Dager – Kaiserslautern High School (DoDEA-Europe)
  • Scott Engle – Mercer County Technical School (New Jersey)
  • Kimberlie Foksett – Iosco RESA Career and Technical Center (Michigan)
  • Thomas Grant – Carver Center Career (West Virginia)
  • Kasie Hairrell – Calhoun County Career Academy (Alabama)
  • Kimberly Hertz – Legacy High School (North Dakota)
  • Charles Hoffmeister – Oneida Herkimer Madison Boces (New York)
  • Tracey Hulme – Waterloo West High School (Iowa)
  • Katherine Hutchinson – Park Center Senior High School (Minnesota)
  • Jenny Joyes – Lander Valley High School (Wyoming)
  • Amanda Lydon – Academy for Technology and Academics (South Carolina)
  • Amanda Matdies – Whitefish High School (Montana)
  • Sherry McCranie – Lincoln Southwest High School (Nebraska)
  • Carissa McCrory – Whitney High School (California)
  • Robert McIntosh – Concord Regional Technical Center (New Hampshire)
  • Brad Nehrt – J. Everett Light Career Center (Indiana)
  • Joshua Ogrodowski – Enfield High School (Connecticut)
  • Steven Oubre – Woodlawn High School (Louisiana)
  • Max Pananen – North Pole High School (Alaska)
  • Jennifer Park – Conway Area Career Center (Arkansas)
  • Sarah Perez – Madison Center High School (South Dakota)
  • Joan Pringle Jones – Mt. Spokane High School (Washington)
  • Sarah Samaros – Greater Lowell Technical High School (Massachusetts)
  • Robert Schley – Westover High School (Georgia)
  • Jaime-Lyn Schmidt – Southwest Career Development Center (Vermont)
  • Curtis Serata – Northeast High School (Florida)
  • Jeffrey Smith – Sollers Point Technical High School (Maryland)
  • Carla Smithers – Walton-Verona High School (Kentucky)
  • Genevieve Wertz – Deming High School (New Mexico)
  • Candace Wilson – Westlake High School (Utah)
  • Valerie Zeno – Sentinel Career and Technology Center (Ohio)
  • Molly Ziegler – Bend High School (Oregon)
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.  NRAEF programs include:  ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a  hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit
Tori Hyndman
(202) 315-4108

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