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MISD Team Wins National Title in Restaurant Management
ProStart Group Photo

Ben Barber Innovation Academy’s culinary arts team has done it again. The students competed against 80 teams from across the country in the National ProStart® Invitational in Washington, D.C. and took first place in restaurant management and fourth place in the culinary competition.

The culinary arts program is run by Chefs Jacquelyne Baker-Roberson and David Roberson.

“Chef Baker and I are elated and proud of these students for their hard work in and out of the classroom and the trust they placed in their teammates and educators,” said Chef Roberson. “We feel our two teams’ successes are a byproduct of the entire MISD commitment to excellence.”

The Ben Barber team also won first prize in 2019. It was the last time the competition was held in person, making them back-to-back national champions.

In addition to bragging rights from the national competition, Ben Barber’s restaurant management team, made up of Griffin Biddle, Logan Ceraul, Alexa Davis and Bella Penns, will each receive $7,000 to be used at the college of their choice.

The culinary team, including students Garrett Carter, Jalessa Gillett, Travis Hill, Travis Holley and Giovanni Vance, will receive $3,000 each.

In addition to the cash prizes, students could receive scholarships from various culinary schools if they choose to attend. The highest offer was $50,000 for a first-place win and $25,000 for fourth place.

“These high school students are the best-of-the-best, representing the industry’s talent of tomorrow,” said Rob Gifford, President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “It was a pleasure to give them this platform to showcase their incredible skills on a national stage and win scholarships to support their career goals in the restaurant and foodservice industry.”

ProStart® is a nationwide, two-year high school program that reaches approximately 130,000 students in more than 1,700 high schools across 50 states, Guam and the District of Columbia. Along with competitions and scholarships, the program provides real-life experience and builds practical skills and foundations for participating students.


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