At the ProStart Educator Excellence Awards Luncheon on May 7, 2012, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Golden Corral awarded the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award to Lisa Christhilf of Western School of Technology and Environmental Science (Maryland) and Angie Drago of Fontainebleau High School (Louisiana). 

The award is a $5,000 cash prize from Golden Corral that is presented annually to two ProStart educators that excel both in and out of the classroom. 

“Our founder, James Maynard, instilled a commitment to education throughout Golden Corral,” says Ted Fowler, president and CEO of Golden Corral. "We are proud to honor the industry’s unsung heroes like Lisa and Angie­–educators who represent the front-line in preparing our students for successful careers and helping them realize their true potential." 

The James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award was established in 2003 in commemoration of Golden Corral’s 30th anniversary and as a tribute to James H. Maynard, Golden Corral chairman and founder. Christhilf and Drago were selected from the pool of 35 state ProStart Educator Excellence Award winners. 

The NRAEF’s ProStart Educator Excellence Awards recognize exceptional educators who utilize the ProStart program in their classrooms.  Each participating state restaurant association nominates its Educator of the Year who has demonstrated a strong commitment to his or her students and to the ProStart program. 

Awardees were flown into Chicago and hosted by the NRAEF from May 5-7, 2012 to participate in a weekend of celebration, networking and learning.  

“ProStart unites the industry and the classroom to create a unique and unparalleled experience for students,” says Lynette McKee, executive director of the NRAEF. 

“Our dedicated ProStart educators are working diligently to create that vital bridge for their students. The Educator Excellence Award winners, including Lisa and Angie, embody all that make ProStart educators successful–inspiration, leadership, collaboration–and are very deserving of this honor." 

ProStart Educator Excellence Award winners include:

  • Carolyn Frey – Alaska
  • Teresa Perkins – Arkansas
  • Sheri Tucker – California
  • Lori McManigal – Colorado
  • Debra Hladky – Florida
  • Ginger Pratt – Georgia
  • Cathy Moon – Illinois
  • Renee Sigmon – Indiana
  • Jenee Cross  – Iowa
  • Cara Poole – Kansas
  • Angie Drago – Louisiana
  • Lisa Christhilf – Maryland
  • Debra Ludovico – Massachusetts
  • Steve Deal – Michigan
  • Marlys Eikmeier – Minnesota
  • Lori Krug – Missouri
  • Joan Leik – Montana
  • Louise Dornbusch – Nebraska
  • Unna Valdez – New Mexico
  • Rebecca Formwalt  – New York   
  • Tracie Head – North Carolina
  • Carrie Hamilton – Ohio
  • Sharon Love – Oklahoma
  • Lora Wells – Oregon
  • Martha Sylvestre – Rhode Island
  • Dwaine Collier – South Carolina
  • Cindy Gerlach  – South Dakota     
  • Gayle Bickel – Texas
  • Brenda Cross – Utah
  • Sylvia W. Mullen – Virginia
  • Rebecca Wilson – Washington
  • Jackie Anderson – West Virginia
  • Laura Cronan – Wisconsin
  • Valerie Mills – Wyoming
Industry News, Philanthropy