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April 23, 2010

Linda Valiga Honored as 2010 Wisconsin ProStart Educator of the Year
Waukesha South educator will be recognized during national ProStart Educator Excellence Awards

(Madison, WI) Wisconsin Restaurant Association announced today that Linda Valiga of Waukesha South in Waukesha is the Wisconsin 2010 ProStart Educator Excellence Award recipient. Valiga will join 30 other top educators in Chicago, Ill. for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) ProStart Educator Excellence Awards from May 21- 22, 2010.

“ProStart plays a vital role in our industry by helping to develop the next generation of leaders that will lead us into the future. At the forefront of this movement are the ProStart educators who work with the students daily to instill in them the management and culinary skills necessary for success,” said Ed Lump, President and CEO. “Linda is a shining example to all other ProStart educators in Wisconsin, and we are proud to honor her as the Wisconsin ProStart Educator of the Year.”

Mrs. Valiga has taught the ProStart program for over 10 years. She inspired her students to pursue a career in the restaurant industry by encouraging them to get their certificate of achievement. By receiving a the certificate of achievement, students are eligible for scholarships and college credits. Mrs. Valiga continues to challenge and inspire her students to achieve their dreams.

The NRAEF’s ProStart Educator Excellence Awards recognize exceptional educators who utilize the ProStart program in their classrooms. Each participating state nominates its leading educator who has demonstrated a strong commitment to his or her students and to the ProStart program. The awardees will be flown into Chicago and hosted by the NRAEF from May 21-22, 2010. The weekend activities kick off with an opening reception on Friday evening at Buca di Beppo. On Saturday, the educators will be honored at the Educator Excellence Awards Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at Ditka’s (100 E. Chestnut St.), and then gather to share best practices for running a successful ProStart program. Finally, educators may take advantage of a complimentary ticket to the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.

Nationwide, 83,000 students in 47 states, territories and districts are served by ProStart, a two-year curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and supported by state restaurant associations across the United States. The career-building program blends classroom learning with mentored work experience to teach high school students the management and culinary skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and work at least 400 hours in the industry, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce.  For more information on the ProStart program, please visit www.prostart.restaurant.org.

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The WRA Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been in existence since 1987 and is one of the nation’s largest state restaurant association foundations. The WRA EF vision is to advance professionalism through education, scholarships and community involvement to ensure the future success of the foodservice industry.

The ProStart® program, administered by National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC and state restaurant associations, is a college prep, two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where industry managers mentor them.

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960