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West Virginia High School Students Find Recipe For Success

April 07, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. - St. Albans and Greenbrier East High Schools students are heating up for some stiff competition during the 4th Annual National ProStart Student Invitational (NPSI). The ProStart teams will compete against other qualifying teams from across the country for a chance to win the national title April 24-26, 2005 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL. The National ProStart Student Invitational is broken into two competitions: management and culinary. St. Albans will compete in the foodservice management competition while Greenbrier East will compete in the culinary competition. Winning teams from each competition will be awarded first, second, and third place medals and scholarships to pursue post-secondary education.  

“It is so exciting to see our students take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in this competition,” said Greg Atkinson, Lead Coordinator, West Virginia Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT). “Knowledge, skill, dedication and teamwork are key factors of success at this competition, and it’s these qualities that build a solid foundation for a bright career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.”  

Teams participating in the culinary competition will demonstrate their creative abilities through the preparation of a meal consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert. Teams participating in the management competition will demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by competing in a case study, where students are tested on their communication skills and ability to apply their knowledge of the industry to practical situations and a question-and-answer “game show”-style event.  

Team members from St. Albans H.S. include Katie Adler, Lori De Hart, Nathaniel Dolson, Brenton McCuskey, and Billy King and were mentored by Duane Legg, Executive Chef of the Clay Center. The team from Greenbrier East H.S. was mentored  

by Hannah Lannick, a senior apprentice at the Greenbrier Resort, and includes Orion Hitzig, Christopher Nickle, Waldson Ozorio, and Eric Wodder. Johanna Halstead, the ProStart program instructor at St. Albans High School, and Phyllis Harbert, the ProStart program instructor at Greenbrier East High School, will also travel with their teams to the national competition in Orlando.  

To qualify for the national competition, students first had to win the WV HEAT State Hospitality Cup Competition, held March 4th and 5th at the Greenbrier Resort. The State Hospitality Cup Competition is structured in the same manner as the national competition and is conducted by the West Virginia Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT). WV HEAT, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), administers the ProStart program in West Virginia. ProStart is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them. When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. Currently, 42 ProStart programs operate in West Virginia with an enrollment of over 1,200 high school students per year.  

For more information, contact Greg Atkinson, Lead Coordinator, West Virginia Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT) at 304-558-3896.

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