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Watauga High School Team Takes First Place in Carolinas ProStart Competition for Fourth Straight Year

ProStart champions Connie Alcaraz,  Anna Jensen, and Eli Hawley. Photo submitted
ProStart champions Connie Alcaraz, Anna Jensen, and Eli Hawley. Photo submitted

April 4, 2013. For the fourth year in a row, a Watauga High School team has won first place in the management category of the Carolinas ProStart Invitational, an annual competition in culinary skills and food service management for high school students from North and South Carolina. This year’s winning team consists of Connie Alcaraz, Anna Jensen, and Eli Hawley.

“Winning this competition reflects a lot of hard work and talent, and this team deserves recognition for their outstanding effort.” said Tierra Stark, family and consumer sciences teacher and ProStart instructor at Watauga High School. “I could not be more proud of them.”

In addition to the honor of being recognized for exceptional performance, team members will also be offered generous scholarships to continue their education in culinary arts and restaurant management. 

Management teams in ProStart events develop a proposal for an original restaurant concept and apply creative and critical thinking to address the challenges the restaurant’s managers could face in day-to-day operations. Team performance is observed and rated by expert judges from industry and by educators in the field.

As champion of the Carolinas ProStart Invitational, the Watauga High School team now goes on to compete against teams from across the country in the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, MD, where they could win additional honors and scholarships.  The team’s trip to the National ProStart event comes courtesy of the generous support of the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) and the NC Hospitality Education Foundation (NC HEF).

ProStart is a two-year educational program supported by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in partnership with state restaurant associations. The program combines classroom learning and mentored work experiences to teach high school students the management and culinary skills needed for careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. ProStart programs reach more than 90,000 students in 1,700 high schools across the country and in several U.S territories. Watauga High School’s team has benefitted from the support of the NC ProStart Program managed by Ranita Bullock.

Watauga High School is a comprehensive high school serving approximately 1,400 students in grades 9-12. It is rated a School of Distinction and a school of high academic growth under the NC ABCs school accountability system.