ProStart management team comes out on top


ProStart courtesy photo

The Management Team presenting and with their 1st place trophy and medals. Team members were: Jenna Ficken, 12,, Steven Robles,12, Bella Tauai, 11, Timothy Esquibel-Hensley, 11 and Clancy Jones, 11. (she was unable to attend)

Eight talented students represented our school for the first time at the Kansas ProStart Invitational on March 11th. Jenna Ficken, Steven Robles, Bella Tauai, Timothy Esquibel-Hensley, and Clancy Jones made up the management team, and the members of the culinary team included Kenzie Ellington, Shayla Simoni, Mia Marcellus, and Mickel Warren.
The Kansas ProStart Invitational was a two-day competition where multiple schools from across the state competed against each other in two different categories.
“The ProStart Invitational is a competition where management and culinary teams from different cities compete against each other, showing their different skills. For management, you come up with a business idea and have to present it to a panel of judges with all the details about that business. For culinary, you have to make a three-course meal within under an hour. You check in on the first day and the second is when you actually compete,” sophomore Mia Marcellus said.
Both teams, with the guidance of culinary teacher Lacey Woods, spent months preparing for the invitational.
“We prepared for ProStart for about three months straight, but before then, we would sit down and briefly discuss what we wanted our restaurant to be,” junior Bella Tauai said.
The relationships and memories that the students made throughout this experience will last a lifetime.
“The culinary team was so much fun because we all were just like a family. We all helped each other’s out and we just got along with each other well that it made it even better,” Marcellus said.
Along with cherished memories, the students also took away valuable skills, such as teamwork, that will benefit them in their future.
“I would recommend this class to others if they want to build a restaurant or potentially run their own one day or even wanted to go into a culinary school. Even, though I do not plan on going into a culinary or business school in the future this does help a lot with teamwork, leadership, and organizational skills,” senior Jenna Ficken said.
The management team punched their ticket to the national competition in Washington D.C because of their first-place finish, but recent events might put a damper on their plans.
“Nationals are May 8th through May 10th, but we are uncertain if we’ll be able to go due to the coronavirus,” Ficken said.
Both the culinary team and the management team made impressive showings finishing fourth and first respectively.