ELKHORN — Jenny Wehmeier from Elkhorn Area High School has been named the 2023 Wisconsin ProStart Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation.
Wehmeier, a Family and Consumer Science Teacher at Elkhorn Area High School, was recognized as an exceptional educator in Wisconsin who uses the ProStart program.
The ProStart program, administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and state restaurant associations, is a curriculum designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
Wehmeier has been a Family and Consumer Science educator for 24 years having taught at Big Foot High School, the University of Wisconsin Extension and currently Elkhorn Area High School, according to a news release.
“Jenny is very well-deserving of this commendation. She has shown strong dedication to the ProStart program and is a shining example of culinary education excellence,” according to Alex Vernon, ProStart Manager for the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation. “She is an inspiration to her students by offering excellent instruction and genuine encouragement every day.”
She has shown a strong commitment to family and consumer science education in her roles as a foodservice educator, community leader and industry role model.
Wehmeier attends Wisconsin ProStart teacher trainings, learning new skills to bring back to her classroom and empowering fellow educators with her best practices.
She provides her students with opportunities to engage in academic and career planning outside of the classroom, bringing students to ProStart Career & Industry Expos.
She actively prepares her students for industry success by providing industry certifications including ServSafe and the ProStart Certificate of Achievement. She promotes and assists students in applying for Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation scholarships, reducing the financial burden of post-secondary education.
As Wisconsin’s ProStart Educator of the Year, Wehmeier will be nominated to be a finalist for national awards given by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce.
With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart reaches 140,000 students nationwide. The ProStart program in Wisconsin reaches over 8,300 students. For more information on the ProStart program, visit www.chooserestaurants.org.