Four local students representing the Clare-Gladwin Career Center’s Culinary Arts class joined 55 teams of their peers from 19 career and technical education centers across Michigan on March 17 and March 18 for the annual Michigan ProStart Competition in Lansing. Hosted by the Michigan Restaurant Association Education Support Foundation (MRA ESF),
Jenna Dungerow of Gladwin and Jessica Swosinski of Harrison, along with Jaime Phillips and Ashtyn Schultz of Beaverton, competed in multiple events that tested their knowledge of the ProStart curriculum; a two-year program for high school students that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders.
The first event was a “Jeopardy!” style knowledge bowl, sponsored by Lake Michigan College. The question and answer event tested all four of the Clare-Gladwin students’ knowledge of critically important issues of food safety and sanitation.
Beaverton’s Phillips and Schultz took part in the Nutrition and Marketing component of the ProStart competition, which is designed to encourage the creation of healthy menu items for restaurants. Students had to create a menu that meets the National Restaurant Associations’ healthy dining criteria. In addition, they also proposed alterations to an “unhealthy” meal to make it fit those same healthy standards.
“The ProStart competition is important for a few different reasons,” said Heidi Rocha, Clare-Gladwin Career Center culinary arts instructor. “It builds off of our class curriculum and brings the students to a much higher level of understanding and achievement. These are also real-world concepts that they will use in their own lives and/or apply in hospitality-related professions.”
Phillips and Schultz placed fourth in the Nutrition and Marketing component and each received a $500 scholarship to Sullivan University.
“I am very proud of my students for their hard work and dedication,” Rocha said.
Culinary Arts is one of nine career and technical education programs offered to local high school juniors and seniors at the Clare-Gladwin Career Center, a program of the Clare-Gladwin RESD.