The 2020 Pennsylvania ProStart Invitational was held on Wednesday, February 26th at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center in State College. Over 80 high school students made up the 14 culinary teams and 5 restaurant management teams that put their skills and talents to the test during the competition. See descriptions of the competitions and results below.
ProStart management teams demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant & foodservice industry by developing a new restaurant concept and presenting it to a panel of industry judges at a simulated business exposition. Teams submit a written proposal and posters outlining their restaurant's service style, floorplan, menu, pricing, marketing tactics, and more. Team members put their problem-solving skills to the test as they are asked how to solve challenges faced by managers daily.
Management Competition Results:
1st Place Restaurant Management - Central Westmoreland Career & Technology Center
2nd Place Restaurant Management - Crawford County Career & Technical Center
3rd Place Restaurant Management - Monroe Career & Technical Institute
Culinary teams demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and creative abilities as they prepare a unique three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners, and without access to running water or electricity. Teams are evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety, and sanitation by judges from the foodservice industry and post-secondary schools.
Culinary Competition Results:
1st Place Culinary Arts - Milton Hershey School
2nd Place Culinary Arts - Indiana County Technology Center
3rd Place Culinary Arts - Northumberland County Career & Technology Center
The first place management team from Central Westmoreland CTC and first place culinary team from Milton Hershey School will go on to compete at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington D.C. May 8-10, 2020.
We were honored to have Dr. Donna Quadri-Felitti (Marvin Ashner Director and Associate Professor, Penn State School of Hospitality Management) join us as keynote speaker at the awards luncheon. Thank you also to our generous sponsors, volunteers, and judges who help make this event happen every year. View more photos from the event here.
2020 ProStart Educator(s) of Excellence
We were pleased to honor the teaching duo from Monroe Career and Technical Institute (MCTI), Samantha Armstrong and John Picarello, as the 2020 Pennsylvania ProStart co-Educators of Excellence during the 2020 Pennsylvania ProStart Invitational.
John and Samantha work as a team to bring the ProStart curriculum to life in their classrooms. They have embraced the Foundations curriculum, including having all their students test for certificates. Since taking over the MCTI ProStart program, John and Samantha’s students have earned more than 25 certificates of achievement. Their students are fully involved in all aspects of running their school’s café, which is open daily. They provide their students with fun in-class competitions, access to industry events, and field trips.
Samantha and John will also be recognized as state winners at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington D.C. this May. Congratulations, and thank you for the commitment and passion that you share with your students in class every day!
2020 here we come! Save the date for the 2020 Pennsylvania Prostart Invitational—Wednesday, February 26th. The competition will once again be held at the Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center in State College, PA.
The Pennsylvania ProStart Invitational challenges high school students from across the state in two distinct competitions—management and culinary— which showcase the most important skills needed in the restaurant and foodservice industry. For each competition, student teams must impress judges from leading industry businesses, colleges, and universities with skills they’ve developed through the ProStart Program.
The first place winning team in each division will move on to represent Pennsylvania at the National ProStart Student Invitational, held May 8-10, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
The public is invited to check out the action—observing the competition is free-of-charge, and tickets to the awards luncheon are $25/person. We are currently seeking sponsors, exhibitors, and donors for the competition. Click below for more information.
Congratulations to Christie Parks, culinary arts instructor at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton, PA, on being awarded Pennsylvania's ProStart Educator of Excellence for 2019.
The ProStart Educator of Excellence Awards (EEA) recognize educators who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and passion, commitment and creativity in all aspects of the ProStart program to help their students make the most of the opportunities that ProStart offers. Their stories inspire ProStart educators and supporters in our state and across the globe.
Christie was recognized for her award at the state level during the Pennsylvania ProStart Invitational in State College, PA on February 27th of this year. Christie also received recognition nationally, at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C. on May 10th, 2019. Congratulations Christie, and keep up the great work!
PA ProStart Blog
The PA ProStart Blog is for Pennsylvania students and teachers of the ProStart Program- a nationwide, two-level high school career and technical education program that teaches culinary arts and restaurant fundamentals.