Conway High School Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Teacher Jennifer Park has been recognized as a ProStart National Educator of Excellence.
The Educator of Excellence Award recognizes exceptional educators who utilize the ProStart Program in their classrooms. Each participating state restaurant association nominates its leading educator who has demonstrated a strong commitment to his/her students and to the ProStart Program.
Park's award states "Park has been instrumental in developing Conway Area Career Center into a culinary powerhouse, leading teams of high schoolers to the National ProStart Invitational two years in a row. This is her second time being named an Educator of Excellence. Additionally, she is a two-time recipient of the Arkansas Pro-Start Teacher of the Year Award."
Conway High School Principal Jason Lawrence says Park has always been a hard worker, giving her students opportunities they normally wouldn't have.
“She creates a passion in her students and they work to get better at their creations," says Lawrence. "This is an incredible program that teaches real life skills and helps students creatively solve problems. They see results in their work immediately.”
This year, Conway Area Career Center placed first in both the Culinary Competition and the Hospitality Management Competition at the Arkansas state event, this qualifying them for the national invitational. The Conway students will represent Arkansas in South Carolina at the end of April in the national-level competition.
"Mrs. Park is one of the most selfless people I know," says Conway Area Career Supervisor Donna Lyon. "She goes above and beyond to help her students, whether it is helping them before school, during lunch, or after school. She spends many off contract hours working with her students doing fundraisers for needy families, cooking and serving at banquets, cooking for the staff, etc. She is always thinking of others. She has a big heart."
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