The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association’s philanthropic arm, the North Carolina Hospitality Education Foundation (NC HEF), recently awarded Christine Mukosiej of Henderson County Career Academy in Flat Rock, North Carolina, with its 2018 Educator of Excellence award. The award is presented annually to an educator who has made significant contributions toward advancing the future of the hospitality industry through culinary instruction.
Under Mukosiej’s leadership, the school’s former cooking courses transitioned to follow the ProStart curriculum, opening pathways for students to pursue careers in hospitality. ProStart is a national two-year high school program that develops future restaurant industry leaders.
“Christine has opened the eyes of her students to future opportunities by offering field trips, guest chef visits in the classroom and upscale catering jobs for her students to participate in,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO of NCRLA and NC HEF. “She is the utmost example of excellence in the classroom and will go above and beyond to serve her students through acting as a resource both in education and in life. We are proud to honor her with this award.”
From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime. By bringing industry and classroom together, ProStart gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents and opens doors for fulfilling hospitality-oriented careers.
“Henderson County Career Academy’s mission is to provide a quality educational experience to students that have not found success in a traditional classroom setting,” said Mukosiej. “ProStart’s curriculum, overseen by the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association’s foundation, has helped me provide my students with a unique set of skills and opportunities to advance their future that they would unlikely find somewhere else.”
Mukosiej was recognized at the 2018 North Carolina ProStart Invitational (NCPI) presented by Golden Corral, a high-stakes culinary arts and restaurant management competition organized by NC HEF. Her team placed first in the state in the culinary category at NCPI and represented North Carolina at the National ProStart Invitational, April 27-29, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Mukosiej will join other top ProStart educators in Chicago, Illinois, for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) ProStart Educator Excellence Awards, May 17.