ProStart Schools In Action

ProStart provides a head start for high school students. The nationwide program helps prepare high school students for leadership positions in the workplace by combining hands-on learning in the classroom with mentored work experience.

ProStart is administered nationwide by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The South Dakota Retailers Association coordinates the program in South Dakota, in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Education and the South Dakota ProStart Advisory Committee.

South Dakota high schools which offer ProStart are very active. Here are some projects and events with which South Dakota's ProStart students have been involved. 

2015DanieleJohnsonReturnsFromLeCordonBleuSturgis Brown High School:

April, 2015:

2014 Sturgis Brown High School Grad and ProStart Member Returns Home to Share Her Skills - pictured at right.

-courtesy of Sturgis Brown High School DanielleJohnstonSturgisBrownHighSchool

Recent Sturgis Brown High School graduate Daniele Johnston, daughter of Marcia and Dan Johnston of Sturgis, will be competing in the national finals of the Le Cordon Bleu Rising Star Future Chef Contest the end of May, 2014 in Los Angeles.

The 18-year-old advances to the national competition by taking first place in the regional Le Cordon Bleu contest held recently in Dallas, Texas, for which she won $5,000.

At the Dallas competition, Daniele had 90 minutes to break down a whole chicken into pieces and prepare a chicken main dish, a starch side dish and a vegetable side dish. She had to prepare four identical plates for judging which consisted of braised balsamic chicken, rice and mushroom pilaf, and sautéed asparagus. At the national contest, Daniele will have to add a salad to her menu.

The judges, who are instructors at the Dallas School of Le Cordon Bleu, scored the contestants on taste, safety and sanitation, organizational skills, knife skills, cooking skills and technique for which Daniele received perfect scores.

In talking to Daniele following the competition, the judges had nothing but praise for the education she has received. "They told her she was heads above the other contestants," said Marcia Johnston, who accompanied her daughter to Dallas. "I can’t say enough about Coleen Keffeler [culinary arts instructor at SBHS]," said Marcia. "Because of her and the culinary classes, Daniele was well-prepared for this competition. She has learned things at home from me and her grandmothers, but all the professional stuff, the techniques, food knowledge and skills she has learned at Sturgis Brown High School."

 

McIntoshSchoolBoardDinnerJan2014McIntosh High School

The McIntosh ProStart students catered the school board's training dinner. The person who conducted the training said, "I have had many board dinners all over the state - nothing compares to this!" Students were super excited to share with the board and the trainer what the ProStart program is all about. Board members enjoyed the buffet and paid culinary students many compliments! (Next up: the students are catering the Little Moreau Conference Girls Basketball hospitality room.)

Pictured: Alexis Counce, 2nd Year ProStart student, at the roast beef carving station.

-courtesy of LaKisha Jordan, CGFS / McIntosh High School & Lemmon High School ProStart Instructor / January, 2014

 

Britton Hecla High School

Britton ProStart Food Pantry ProjectStudents in the Britton-Hecla ProStart program put their culinary skills to use with a community project. They baked, decorated, packaged and delivered 71 dozen sugar cookies to the Food Pantry, to be included in holiday boxes for distribution to people in need. The nine students who worked on the project were Madeline Carlson, Jared Lentsch, Armando Mahe, Mackenzie Martins, Julie Nelson, Baily Olson, Samantha Schultz, Liz Sorensen and Nata Tsintsabadze. (Pictured: Baily Olson and Mackenzie Martins helped box up the cookies).

-courtesy of Carmen Tisher, BHHS ProStart/FACS / Art Instructor / December, 2013 

 

McIntoshProStartNightBeforeHalloween2013McIntosh High School

McIntosh’s ProStart students held a "Nightmare Before Halloween Bake Sale" fundraiser last month. The students - Megan Plush, Deidra Dragset, Jessica Nehl and Garrett Clark - developed the cupcakes, decorated over four dozen and sold them ALL within 15 minutes right after lunch. We have gained a reputation for our bake sales over the years; we literally have to turn people away :) and we feel exclusive!! The following week, we used the recipes to work through our costing unit. Not bad for four little chefs and one proud mama bear chef!

-courtesy of LaKisha Jordan, CGFS / McIntosh High School & Lemmon High School ProStart Instructor / October, 2013

 

SturgisProStartRanchersReliefSupper

Sturgis Brown High School

Members of the Sturgis Brown High School ProStart culinary class prepared chicken tortilla and vegetable beef soups for the Ranchers' Relief Soup Supper October 22, 2013.  The money went to the Ranchers Relief Fund to assist the families who were devastated by losses of tens of thousands of cattle and sheep during an October blizzard in western South Dakota.

Pictured are Mark Heintz, Katherine Aitken, Danielle Johnston, Matthew Aitken and adviser Colleen Keffeler.

October, 2013

 

MitchellProStartChefLanceWhiteMitchell Career & Technical Education Academy

I took my Culinary Arts I class to Sioux Falls this spring. We went to Maxwell’s on Cliff Avenue for a cooking demonstration. Chef Lance White from Buffalo Ridge Resort and Business Center in Gary, SD came down to do the demonstration. He prepared four different courses. After each course, the students were given a sample. He demonstrated various culinary skills and techniques as he prepared each course. During his presentation he covered topics we had studied in the classroom, as well as presenting new information. So it was a nice connection for the students to see that what they are learning in the classroom is being used in the industry. Chef Lance did an awesome job relating to the students and kept them involved as he presented. Maxwell’s gave out two knives for door prizes, and gave each student a small cutting board.

All of the students had a great time and were able to ask questions and interact as Chef Lance presented.  Thank you for the opportunity to go on the field trip and the financial support to make it possible.

 - from Cindy Gerlach / Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy ProStart Instructor / April, 2013 

 

BrookingsHSProStartCatersMeal2013Brookings High School

ProStart students from Brookings High School - along with one former student and Culinary Arts graduate - participated in the Dell Rapids ESA (Epsilon Sigma Alpha) Tour of Tables in March. The event was a fundraiser for the Families in Need Fund, which is operated by the Dell Rapids Ministerial Association. The students prepared and served a luncheon for 205 guests at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dell Rapids.

The kids catered and served the whole thing; they handled all food planning, purchase, prep and serving. They served Ham and Swiss sandwiches topped with a Dijon mustard butter sauce, sautéed vegetables, a spinach and strawberry salad with a basil and aged strawberry vinaigrette followed by a trio dessert plate....fudge topped brownies, cheesecake, and key lime tartlets.

The kids loved the whole experience. The culinary team ran the kitchen. They learned how to manage quantity cooking and how to get foods out as fast and as appealing as possible. The management team ran the serving part of it. They did what they do best....serving, talking to guests, answering questions about ProStart. They were great ambassadors for the program - they had everyone laughing....and loving ProStart!

 - from Joline Dunbar / Brookings High School ProStart Instructor / March, 2013

 

HuronTrickOrTreatNightHuron High School

When Huron High School hosted a Trick or Treat Night to give local kids a safe place to do their trick or treating, the ProStart students made Halloween sugar cookies for kids to frost and decorate. It was a huge success, and they were swamped with kids wanting to participate.

- from Kathy Engst / Huron High School ProStart / FACS / Vocational Department / October, 2012

 

 

 

LemmonParentTeacherConfLemmon High School

Lemmon High School ProStart students catered the Parent Teach Conference with roaming hors d'oeuvres. "They were so excited and had a great time," said instructor Kisha Jordan. "They're already asking when they can do it again." The students spent two class periods prepping everything, and the ProStart team came in after school from 4 to 6 p.m. to serve. (Pictured: Emily Storm, Kaitlyn Rosenberg, Cris Burchett, Erin Jack and Zoey Schopp.)

-courtesy of LaKisha Jordan, Lemmon ProStart Instructor / October, 2012

 

 

ictured are Mark Heintz, Katherine Aitken, Danielle Johnston, Matthew Aitken and adviser Colleen Keffeler.October, 2013ProStart students from Brookings High School - along with one former student and Culinary Arts graduate - participated in the Dell Rapids ESA (Epsilon Sigma Alpha) Tour of Tables. The event was a fundraiser for the Families in Need Fund, which is operated by the Dell Rapids Ministerial Association. The students prepared and served a luncheon for 205 guests at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dell Rapids.The kids catered and served the whole thing; they handled all food planning, purchase, prep and serving. They served Ham and Swiss sandwiches topped with a Dijon mustard butter sauce, sautéed vegetables, a spinach and strawberry salad with a basil and aged strawberry vinaigrette followed by a trio dessert plate....fudge topped brownies, cheesecake, and key lime tartThe kids loved the whole experience. The culinary team ran the kitchen. They learned how to manage quantity cooking and how to get foods out as fast and as appealing as possible. The management team ran the serving part of it. They did what they do best....serving, talking to guests, answering questions about ProStart. They were great ambassadors for the program - they had everyone laughing....and loving ProStart!- by Joline Dunbar / Brookings