katherine hutchinsonKatherine Hutchinson, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Park Center Senior High, is the recipient of a 2017 ProStart® Educator of Excellence Award from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).

ProStart is the NRAEF’s nationwide high school program that unites classroom and industry to develop the talent of tomorrow’s workforce. The program reaches nearly 140,000 students in more than 1,700 high schools.

Prior to winning her national award, Hutchinson was also selected as Minnesota’s 2017 ProStart Educator of Excellence, sponsored by the Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation (HMEF).

“I was really surprised to get this award because there’s a lot of good work going on in Minnesota,” Hutchinson said, noting there are 44 schools using the ProStart curriculum in the state. “NRAEF and HMEF have been great partners for us. We participate in their events, and they provide us with mentors for students.”

Hutchinson is a 22-year employee of Osseo Area Schools. After working as a parent educator at Park Brook Elementary, she transitioned to Park Center Senior in 2004 to teach Family and Consumer Sciences classes. With fellow teacher Rebecca Cranston, who now teaches at Osseo Senior, Hutchinson was instrumental in adopting the ProStart curriculum into the culinary program at Park Center.

Hutchinson and other recipients of NRAEF awards were honored at a gala dinner May 18 in Chicago.

“Every year I am amazed at the wonderful educators who make our ProStart program possible, and we are excited to honor the best of the best who go above and beyond to inspire the next generation of foodservice leaders,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of the NRAEF.