Pro Start competitors win college scholarships

SCOTTVILLE — The West Shore Education Service District (ESD) teams that competed at the ProStart Competition in Lansing made a strong showing in both the management and culinary divisions.

Members of the West Shore ESD Culinary and Management teams participated at the Pro Start competition this past weekend in Lansing. The Management team won $25,000 in scholarships from the competition. Shown in the front row (left to right) are instructor Lori LeRay, Management team member Paige O'Brien, Culinary team members Logan Reynolds, Kristy Porter and Abby Ault. Back row (left to right) are Stephen Loredo, Jayden Hathaway, Otto Wrege and instructor/chef Jared Funk. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

Members of the West Shore ESD Culinary and Management teams participated at the Pro Start competition this past weekend in Lansing. The Management team won $25,000 in scholarships from the competition. Shown in the front row (left to right) are instructor Lori LeRay, Management team member Paige O’Brien, Culinary team members Logan Reynolds, Kristy Porter and Abby Ault. Back row (left to right) are Stephen Loredo, Jayden Hathaway, Otto Wrege and instructor/chef Jared Funk. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

That two-day competition featured 62 teams from 23 career and technical centers from across Michigan. The event is annually hosted by the Michigan Restaurant Association Educational Support Foundation and it gives these students the opportunities to win scholarships for culinary programs at many colleges.

This year the West Shore ESD Management team of Stephen Loredo (Manistee), Otto Wrege (Ludington) and Paige O’Brien (Ludington made a great showing by finishing third in their division. West Shore ESD Career Tech Education principal Lynda Matson praised the efforts of the students.

“Overall each of the three students received nearly $25,000 in total scholarships,” said Matson.

Those scholarships are from Ferris State University ($500), Louisiana Culinary Institute ($1,000), Culinary Institute of Virginia ($4,000), Culinary Institute of America ($1,000) renewable for three years for total of $3,000, New England Culinary Institute ($4,000) and Kendall College ($6,000).

The West Shore ESD principal added that the judges had high praise for that management team.

“The judges mentioned in their comments that they were impressed with the creative concept the students showed in their proposal,” said Matson.

Culinary instructor Lori LeRay said the management team really had to be on the top of their game. The judges will quiz them ask about what is in their marketing plan and how they would put it to use.

“The judges kind of go by their knowledge of the concept and how they came up with it,” This year it was set up expo style where groups of judges came by throughout the day looking for specific things in their presenation.”

Also competing at the ProStart competition was the culinary team that finished in fifth place out of 15 teams. Team members included Abby Ault (Manistee), Logan Reynolds (Manistee), Jayden Hathaway (Ludington), Kristy Porter (Ludington) and Otto Wrege (Ludington).

“The judges commented on the team’s strong communication skills, teamwork, sanitation and plating techniques,” said Matson.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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