May 30, 2014
Two students from Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School were part of a team from the Schoharie campus of the Capital Region Career & Technical School ranked No. 1 in the state this year in the Hospitality Management field.
The team, which included BKW students Krysta Robert and Rhianon Sherry, won top honors at the 2014 New York State Restaurant Association's ProStart Invitational Culinary Competition at the Culinary Institute of America this spring.
As state winners versus 20 other teams from New York, the BKW-led team had an opportunity to travel to Minneapolis in May to compete at the ProStart National Invitational. While Schoharie's team did not place in the top-five finishers at the national event, team members kept their cool and exhibited professionalism, knowledge and skill while proudly representing their state.
"I couldn’t be more proud of these students," said Schoharie CTE Principal Denise Capece. "They are hard-working, dedicated, and I am delighted that they get to showcase their talents at the national level."
The 10th annual state ProStart Invitational was broken down into two distinct competitions: hospitality management and culinary arts. Watch a video from the event below (see students just before the 4-minute mark).
The BKW students, competing in the management competition, had to develop a proposal for an original restaurant concept. Presentations were made to a panel of judges followed by a test of the management team's problem-solving skills via a question and answer panel dealing with common issues restaurants face every day.
The members of the full Management Team were:
- Krysta Robert - Berne-Knox-Westerlo
- Rhianon Sherry - Berne-Knox-Westerlo
- Christopher McClure - Duanesburg Central School District
- Savannah Pfohl - Cobleskill Richmondville Central School District
- Alyssa Schifferdecker - Cobleskill Richmondville Central School District
Those teams placing in the top five have the chance to receive scholarships from colleges across the nation. By bringing together the industry and the classroom, the ProStart program gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents to open doors for fulfilling careers. It happens through a curriculum that includes all facets of the hospitality industry, including culinary arts and hospitality management, and sets a high standard of excellence for students and the industry.
ProStart is an educational restaurant and foodservice management program developed and supported by the National Restaurant Association. The program includes rigorous coursework and on-the-job training and leads to nationally recognized, ProStart Certificate of Achievement.
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association represents and supports nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses in partnership with state restaurant associations including New York’s. With 12.9 million employees, the restaurant industry is the nation's second-largest private-sector employer. In 2012, Americans spent about 48 percent of their food dollar at restaurants.
The National Restaurant
Association Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant
Association works to develop a stronger workforce and build the next
generation of industry leaders through educational and training programs
in management, culinary, food safety and employee skills. For more
information on the national competition, visit