Virginia Beach High School Students Rise to the Top at VPSI

Salem High School and Landstown High School Teams Advance to the National ProStart Invitational

Culinary and Management Team WinnersThe Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association Education Foundation will send a culinary team from Salem High School and a management team from Landstown High School, both from Virginia Beach, to compete in the 13th Annual National ProStart Invitational. The two were tops in their categories at the Virginia ProStart Student Invitational held March 14-15 at Liberty University.

The National ProStart Invitational is the country’s premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. To be held in Minneapolis from May 3-5, 2014, it will bring together the top ProStart students from 43 states and territories to showcase their skills in food preparation and restaurant management. Winning teams will take home an opportunity to select from a pool of $1.4 million in scholarships.

The culinary competition highlights the creative abilities of each team through the preparation of a three-course meal in 60 minutes using only two butane burners. Management teams develop a proposal for an original restaurant concept and apply critical thinking skills to challenges managers face in day-to-day operations. The performance of teams in both events is observed and rated by expert judges from industry and academia.

“ProStart is developing the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders,” says Rebecca Reamer, Director of Education and ProStart for VHTA, which runs the program in Virginia. “ProStart gives students a sense of purpose and demonstrates their passion for the future, which will be on full display when they represent the Commonwealth in Minneapolis.”

Culinary teacher Lynette Voloudakis and management instructor Suzette Johnson will accompany the teams. Culinary team members include Tim Scheetz, Jessica Law, Sandrine Robinson, and Aaron Smith. Management team members are Spencer Andrews, Tim Brush, Emily White, Peyton Auxt, and Cassidy Garcia.

ProStart – the NRAEF’s proven, high-impact program for high school students – reaches more than 90,000 students in 1,700 high schools across 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and U.S. military bases.

It introduces them to the career opportunities available in the restaurant and foodservice industry, and teaches them the restaurant management and culinary arts skills needed to launch their futures. In Virginia roughly 3,900 students are served by ProStart and supported by the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association Education Foundation. For more information on the ProStart program, visit


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