CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia high school students served up a hardy portion of competition as schools from Upshur and Greenbrier counties captured first place honors in the recent West Virginia Hospitality Education and Training ProStart Hospitality Cup Competition.
The annual event is conducted by the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Hospitality Education. Students on teams placing first, second or third receive scholarships totaling more than $400,000. The scholarships, from 15 post-secondary schools, offer students the opportunity to pursue advanced training in culinary arts or hospitality management after high school.
ProStart students participating in the culinary competition demonstrated their creative abilities through the preparation of a meal consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert. In the management competition, ProStart students demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by competing in a case study. Students were tested on their communication skills and ability to apply their knowledge of the industry to practical situations, as well as in a question-and-answer game show-style event.
Buckhannon-Upshur High School captured first place in the management competition. Mason Career and Technical Center was second, followed by Putnam Career and Technical Center. In the culinary division, Greenbrier East High School was first, followed by Buckhannon-Upshur High School and St. Albans High School in Kanawha County. Other participating schools were from Boone, Calhoun, Berkeley, Marshall, Marion, Mingo, Ohio and Wood counties.
“These students have dedicated themselves to learning as much as they can in the classroom and then applying it in this competition,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine. “Knowledge, skill, motivation and teamwork are key factors of success at this competition and in the 21st century as these students move forward in their careers and education in the restaurant and foodservice industry.”
The winning teams will now represent West Virginia in the culinary and management events at the National ProStart Invitational in Overland Park, Kan., in April. At the national competition, the team will compete against other qualifying teams from across the country. First, second, third, fourth and fifth place teams from both the culinary and management competitions at the national level will be awarded college scholarships.
For more information, contact Donna Wilkes, ProStart coordinator for WV HEAT, at (304) 558-6321, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
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