WHS Teacher Laura Calvert Wins ProStart Educator of Excellence Award
Waukee High School teacher Laura Calvert has been named Iowa’s 2013 ProStart® Educator of Excellence by the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation.
ProStart is a two-year high school curriculum program that unites the classroom and industry to develop tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders, and is currently taught in 18 Iowa high schools. Waukee High School was the third Iowa school to implement the ProStart program.
Calvert, a Waukee High School alumnus, began teaching the ProStart classes three years ago. The young teacher’s enthusiasm for her subject area paid dividends early. In her first year, Waukee’s ProStart students won both the management and culinary portions of the Iowa ProStart competition and advanced to the National Invitational in Baltimore.
As a one-time student of Waukee’s program, Laura sees firsthand how ProStart has evolved Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) in the state’s fastest growing school district.
“ProStart has shifted people’s perceptions of FCS,” Calvert said. “Parents, teachers and the community are now realizing the tremendous career potential a strong FCS curriculum offers students.”
Calvert subscribes to many culinary publications and works closely with the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation to keep up with current culinary trends and techniques. ProStart educators also have the opportunity to take classes during the summer from trained culinary experts.
“Providing opportunities to network with other ProStart educators and professionals is vital. Networking is key in any industry!” Calvert said.
May Schaben, executive director of the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation said of Calvert, “Her willingness to embrace the belief that a change of approach in the FCS classroom can clearly lead to a fulfilling, profitable and lifelong career in the hospitality industry made Laura the ideal choice for this award.”
With their eyes once again on the ProStart state and national Invitational competitions, Calvert and her students raise funds by catering numerous events around the Des Moines area including the State Speech contest, Waukee Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Waukee Rotary events and Festival of Peace.