High School Students Compete in 12th Annual State ProStart Invitational

High School Students Compete in 12th Annual State ProStart Invitational

South Dakota Retailers Association

The ProStart Invitational is an intense, fast-paced event where students demonstrate skills in food preparation and safety, hospitality management, public speaking, and other valuable job skills. Teams compete for state titles in a culinary division and a business management division and the top teams earn a spot at the national competition in Washington, DC, May 8-10.

ProStart is a joint effort of the South Dakota Department of Education, the South Dakota Retailers Association and the South Dakota ProStart Advisory Committee.

“ProStart is a great opportunity for high school students to learn culinary and hospitality management skills applicable in an array of businesses, from restaurants to hotel management,” said South Dakota Retailers Association Exec. Dir. Nathan Sanderson. “This is real-world career preparation at its finest.”

In the culinary portion of the competition, teams of students demonstrate knife skills and then have just 60 minutes to prepare a three-course gourmet meal without using electricity. Many of the state’s premier chefs serve as judges, scoring teams on numerous factors including presentation, taste, sanitation and teamwork. 

Teams also compete head-to-head in a business management competition. They present on the steps needed to start and operate a restaurant. In addition to presenting details about the concept to one set of judges, a second set of food-service professionals evaluate the teams’ business plans.

Participating schools included: Aberdeen Central A-TEC, Brookings, Huron, Madison Central, Mitchell CTE Academy and Mobridge-Pollock.

 

COMPLETE LIST OF AWARD WINNERS

 

Culinary Division

First Place: Brookings High School

Team members are Kylee Heston, Myranda Syhre, Yaritza Carmona Gonzalez, Stephen Heesch and Cassandra Whitaker. The team competed under the direction of instructors Joline Dunbar and Megan Jaquet.

Second Place: Mitchell CTE

Team members are Hallie Bitterman, Kris Berulson, Jadyn Jones and Monoromnea Pisy. The team competed under the direction of instructor Cindy Gerlach.

 

Management Division

First Place: Brookings High School

This team received the highest score in the management portion of the competition and will compete in the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, DC May 8-10. Team members are Abby Enevoldsen, Angela Lansang and Alexis Rodriquez. The team competed under the direction of instructors Joline Dunbar and Megan Jaquet.

Second Place: Madison High School

Team members are Nathan Meyer, Sahara VanTassel, Ethan Brown and Brandt Blessington. The team competed under the direction of instructor Sarah Jongeling.

 

Cake Decorating Winner: Huron High School

Team members are Nayeli Pineda and Gabriela Estrada. The team competed under the direction of instructor Kathy Engst.

 

Knife Skills Award: Juan Murillo Gonzalez of Aberdeen Central A-TEC

This award is presented to the student who demonstrates the best overall technique during the knife skills portion of the competition.

 

President’s Award: Juan Murillo Gonzalez of Aberdeen Central A-TEC

The President’s Award is given by the Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs to an individual who exhibits leadership.

 

About ProStart

ProStart is a nationwide high school curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). It helps prepare high school students for leadership positions in the workplace by teaching skills which are crucial in any place of employment. Combining hands-on learning in the classroom with mentored work experience, the program provides education on culinary skills, safety, inventory, cost controls, customer service, business math and other practical business management skills. ProStart reaches more than 140,000 students in 1,800 high schools across 50 states, the Territory of Guam and U.S. military bases in Europe and the Pacific. In South Dakota, 17 schools offer the ProStart program.

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