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June 15, 2011

Watauga High School ProStart Program is Example of Innovation Done Right

[Page: H4080]  GPO's PDF 

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) for 5 minutes.

Ms. FOXX. Today, I want to highlight a remarkable group of North Carolina students from Watauga High School in my district. These students recently competed and won third place in the National ProStart Invitational in Overland Park, Kansas, after winning first place in the Carolinas' ProStart competition earlier this year. They are to be congratulated for this fantastic achievement, and I commend everyone from the parents and students to the teachers and mentors involved in this innovative educational program.

ProStart is a nationwide, 2-year program for high school students that seeks to develop the next generation of restaurant and foodservice industry leaders. Students participating in the program learn everything from culinary techniques to management skills via a hands-on curriculum and real-world educational opportunities. By building practical professional skills, these students are investing in their future careers even while enrolled in high school.

What's particularly impressive about this program is how it combines traditional high school programs with instruction from seasoned professionals in the foodservice and hospitality fields. This program is a wonderful model for how private sector companies can work with schools and students to offer tailor-made educational solutions that set students on the road to successful careers. In fact, in North Carolina alone, the ProStart program has educated more than 700 students in 15 schools, with another 13 North Carolina schools set to join in the next year. Again, congratulations to everyone involved in Watauga High School's ProStart program for excelling in this national program and making your community proud.

Mr. Speaker, one of the joys of serving in Congress is the opportunity to be at celebrations such as the one I attended last week during our district work period. The enthusiasm in the room at their celebration was infectious. A special congratulations goes to the four winning students: Emily Haas, Michael Haynes, Justin Byrum, and Eli Bradford. Of course, these accomplishments were facilitated by the support and hard work of Watauga High School ProStart teacher Lee Ann Williams and ProStart mentors Troy and Sandy Byrum of Troy's Restaurant in Boone, as well as David Gronewoller, a Golden Corral executive and owner, who sponsored the ProStart team. Paul M. Stone, Alyssa Barkley, and Susan Seay, who run the Statewide ProStart program, also deserve congratulations for supporting this successful program

[Page: H4081]  GPO's PDF
that is already producing talented and enthusiastic North Carolina students.

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