(Des Moines, Iowa) October 8, 2012-- Davenport Central High School teacher Jenee Cross has been named Iowa’s 2012 ProStart® Educator of Excellence by the Iowa Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. ProStart is a two-year high school curriculum program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. ProStart serves over 90,000 students in 47 states and is currently taught in 10 Iowa school districts.
Davenport Central High School was one of the first Iowa schools to implement the ProStart program. Cross began teaching the classes three years ago and has helped establish the Davenport School District’s program as one of the state’s strongest. Each semester Cross works with 20 ProStart students, many of whom graduate and pursue restaurant industry careers or continue their culinary and/or restaurant management educations at a post-secondary level.
A highlight of the ProStart program is the annual state ProStart Competition in which students compete in both culinary and management events with the hopes of representing Iowa at the National ProStart Competition. Cross’s ProStart student teams have a strong history of placing highly and/or winning in both categories.
To help fund their competition program, Cross and her students partner with local chefs to hold a culinary sampling event called “Taste of ProStart.” Last year’s event raised $6,000 for the teams.
“Jenee Cross exhibits a dedication to her students day in and day out,” said May Schaben, executive director of the Iowa Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “She has fully leveraged the ProStart program to help students discover career paths they may not have considered otherwise. I’m certain there will be many future chefs and restaurant owners who will look back and credit their classroom work with Cross as turning points in their decisions to pursue hospitality careers.”
Iowa Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
The Iowa Restaurant Association Educational Foundation creates and promotes awareness of hospitality as a professional career path and strengthens and improves educational offerings, opportunities and services for the advancement of the restaurant and retail beverage industries in the state of Iowa. ProStart is the Foundation’s flagship program for Iowa high school students.
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“ProStart is a registered trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation”.