Prostart High School Educators Celebrated for Excellence in Training Students in Culinary Arts, Restaurant Management

NRAEF announces 40 winners of the 2020 PROSTART Educator of Excellence Awards (EEA) for outstanding achievement in high school culinary, restaurant management education

WASHINGTON, DC – May 14, 2020 – Today, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced 40 winners of the 2020 ProStart® Educator of Excellence Awards (EEA) for outstanding achievement in high school culinary and restaurant management education. The 40 winners will be honored during NPSI Live, a virtual celebration to recognize and show support for all ProStart students and their educators on June 4th, 2020.

ProStart® is the NRAEF’s nationwide high school culinary arts and restaurant management program that unites classroom and industry to develop the talent of tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. The program reaches nearly 150,000 students in more than 1,900 high schools across 50 states, the Territory of Guam, and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and the Pacific.

“Every year, we recognize, reward and honor educators who have demonstrated excellence in their ProStart classrooms – and this year, they face even more of a challenge as many of them work to educate their students virtually,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Congratulations to all of this year’s EEA winners, and thank you for your dedication and commitment to cultivating the next generation of restaurant and foodservice leaders – we need you now more than ever before.”



The 40 winning EEA winners are nominated for the award by their state ProStart Coordinator. As part of the nomination process, the educators were asked to share a ProStart experience in one of three categories: Industry Connection, Classroom Expertise, and Best Practice and Knowledge Sharing.

The NRAEF and Golden Corral Corporation will also be unveiling the 2020 recipients of three special category award winners and the James H. Maynard Teacher of the Year Award in the coming weeks. Each of the four special winners are selected from the 40 state winners. Three select educators will be recognized in the categories of Industry Connection, Classroom Expertise, and Best Practice and Knowledge Sharing. The winner from each category receives $3,500 for their achievements.

One ProStart educator will receive the James H. Maynard Teacher of the Year Award for their tireless dedication to providing remarkable experiences to their ProStart students. Established over a decade ago as a tribute to Golden Corral’s founder, James Maynard, the award honorees receive a gift of $10,000, presented by Lance Trenary, President and CEO of Golden Corral. Stay tuned for this year’s Maynard winner to be announced on Thursday, June 4th during NPSI Live.

“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, especially now,” said Trenary.

See below for the complete list of 2020 EEA winners.

2020 ProStart Educator of Excellence Awardees
Brian Yim – Dimond High School, Alaska
Audra Weeks – Bentonville Ignite, Arkansas
Nick Brandler – San Dimas High School, California
Hope Nazzaro – St. Vrain Career Development Center, Colorado*
Yvonne Justice – St. Vrain Career Development Center, Colorado*
Joshua Ogrodowski – Enfield High School, Connecticut
Ricki Senn – Caesar Rodney High School, Delaware
Carl Stanton – Marathon High School, Florida
Elissa Oliver – Riverwood International Charter School, Georgia
LaRae Arment – Alburnett High School, Iowa
Matt Barker – Technology Center of DuPage, Illinois
Brad Luzadder –Heartland Career Center, Indiana
Jack Low – Eudora/Desoto Technical Education Center & High School, Kansas
Elizabeth Crump – Jessamine Career and Technology Center, Kentucky
Wanda Lemoine – Red River High School, Louisiana
Samantha Clarke –Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, Massachusetts
Clint Frenette – Sanilac Career Center, Michigan
Marissa Getty –Rogers High School, Minnesota
Nora Hill – Park Hill School District, Missouri
Ashley Whitesides – Cary High School, North Carolina
Joan Hines – Lincoln Southwest High School, Nebraska
Victoria Garay – Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center, New Hampshire
John Pollock – Trenton Central High School, New Jersey
Veronica Hunnicutt Garcia – Chaparral High School, New Mexico
Ann Taylor – Coronado High School, Nevada
Andrew Ottati – Questar III: Rensselaer Educational Center, New York
Debra Bates – Lancaster High School, Ohio
Danny Morrison – Northeast Technology Center, Oklahoma
Macy Hagensee – Crook County High School, Oregon
John Picarello – Monroe Career & Technical Institute, Pennsylvania*
Samantha Armstrong – Monroe Career & Technical Institute, Pennsylvania*
Marie-Claire McKillip – East Providence Career and Technical Center, Rhode Island
Holly A. Bell – Enoree Career & Technical Center, South Carolina
Megan Jaquet – Brookings High School, South Dakota
Becky Salter – John Marshall High School, Texas
Diane Cluff – Provo High School, Utah
Tara Roberts – Massanutten Technical Center, Virginia
David A. Groenewold – River Valley Technical Center, Vermont
Tara Bradford – Middleton High School, Wisconsin
Stephen Martin – Cabell Midland High School, West Virginia

* These educators are co-teachers at their schools and are nominated together

Visit to learn how to get involved with the NRAEF and its work to build pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in restaurants and foodservice.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public 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 and justice-involved incarcerated individuals 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

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Jasmine Jones

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