ProStart teacher, Michael Murray of United Technical Center in Harrison County, was among this year’s winners.
The Teacher Excellence Award recognizes exceptional teachers who use the ProStart foodservice career development program in their classrooms. Developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and supported by HEAT, ProStart prepares high school students for the job market and higher education through coursework, work experience, credentials and scholarships.
Murray was nominated for the Teacher Excellence Award by the Office of Hospitality Education and Training, West Virginia Department of Education, based on exceptional dedication to the ProStart program, outstanding classroom activities and student results. The winners extended the program’s curriculum by motivating their students to participate in internships and by using guest speakers, field trips and other opportunities within the industry to make the program even more successful.
“Mr. Murray sets very high standards for his students and works very hard to help them meet those standards” said Gene Coulson, coordinator of the Office of Hospitality Education and Training.
Among the seniors in Murray’s class this year are three students planning to attend national culinary schools and one who is joining the management training program of a regional restaurant chain. Several students in the program have also received the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s national credential by passing a rigorous test and completing 400 hours of paid industry internship. The award recipients will receive an expense-paid trip to The National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago where they will be recognized at a special luncheon on Friday, May 18.
“We are proud to sponsor an award that recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers in the restaurant and hospitality industry,” said A. Reed Hayes, president and COO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Teachers like Michael Murray have an enormous impact not only on their students –- tomorrow’s leaders –- but also on the future of our industry.”