ProStart Educators of Excellence Awards 2023

Honoring State Educators of the Year

The NRAEF ProStart® National Educator of Excellence Awards (EEA) recognize educators who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and passion, commitment, and creativity in all aspects of the ProStart program to help their students make the most of the opportunities that ProStart offers. Their stories inspire ProStart educators and supporters across the globe.

On July 12, 2023, at the EEA Awards Dinner during the ProStart Professional Development program, the following national EEA awards were announced:

Patrick Phelan, 2023 Educator of Excellence

EEA James H. Maynard Teacher of the Year Award

Patrick Phelan, St. Charles Satellite Center, Luling, Louisiana

Established over a decade ago as a tribute to Golden Corral’s founder, James Maynard, this award honors one EEA winner for their tireless dedication to providing remarkable experiences to their ProStart students. The annual honoree receives a gift of $10,000.

Christopher Bates, 2023 Educator of Excellence in Classroom Expertise

EEA Classroom Expertise Award

Christopher Bates, Wekiva High School, Apopka, Florida

Roger Ramsay, 2023 Educator Of Excellence in Best Practice/Knowledge Sharing

EEA Best Practice & Knowledge Sharing Award

Roger Ramsey, Hardin County School’s Early College and Career Center, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Deb Rombough, 2023 Educator of Excellence in Industry Connections

EEA Industry Connections Award

Deb Rombough, Harrisburg High School, Harrisburg, South Dakota

2022 ProStart Educators of Excellence State Awardees

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.

Rebecca Giedosh-Ruge, Mat-Su Career & Tech High School, Wasilla

Imogen Erickson, Pacific Grove High School, Pacific Grove

Heather Carnes, ThunderRidge High School, Highlands Ranch

Nathaniel Bradshaw, Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven

Kirk Clemens, Howard High School of Technology, Bear

James Bryant, Berkmar High School, Lawrenceville

Kyle Neuner, TCU DuPage, Addison

Andrea Yount, Walker Career Center, Indianapolis

Rolando Molina, Norwalk High School, Ankeny

Bill Loudermilk, Wichita East High School, Wichita

Lorna Browne, Howard High School, Ellicott City

Carly Capraro, Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Pelham

Jill Snyder, Golightly Career and Technical Center – Detroit Public Schools, Detroit

Kelly Delacruz, NRHEG High School, New Richland

Catherine Bruce, Clinton High School, Clinton

Rachel Mitchell, Staley High School – North Kansas City School District, Kansas City

Hannah Liptac, Scottsbluff High School, Scottsbluff

Jenny Crist, Centennial High School, North Las Vegas

New Hampshire
Patricia Rollins, Plymouth Regional High School, Plymouth

New Jersey
Anabela Bernardino, Marion P. Thomas Charter School, Newark

New Mexico
Kevin Zink, Carlsbad High School, Carlsbad

New York
Kendell Brenner, Rockland BOCES Career & Technical Education Center, New City

North Carolina
Sara Monson, Asheville High School, Canton

Mark Mitrovich, Centerville High School, Centerville

Brian Peffley, Lebanon County Career & Technology Center, Lebanon

South Carolina
Kimberly Bush, South Aiken High School, Aiken

Tyler Osburn, Waller High School, Waller

Ken Gray, Murray High School, Murray

Trace Heidenreich, River Bend Career & Technical Center, Bradford

Lee DeMatteo, Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center, Spotsylvania

West Virginia
Liljon McCormick, Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center, Grantsville

Jenny Wehmeier, Elkhorn Area High School, Elkhorn

Kallie Poncelow, Laramie High School, Laramie

2023 Awards Reception

EEA Reception