Brenda Marshall named 2016 ProStart Educator of Excellence

Brenda Marshall named 2016 ProStart Educator of Excellence

Olympia, WA – On Saturday, February 27, 2016, Brenda Marshall of Joel E. Ferris High School, was awarded the 2016 ProStart Educator of Excellence Award by the Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation (WRAEF).

Brenda accepted the award at the 2016 Boyd’s Coffee ProStart Invitational, amid much applause. She dedicated the award to all the ProStart teachers, who do so much to help their students succeed.

ProStart is a program that provides high school students from across the nation with training in culinary techniques and hospitality management skills.  Students completing the industry-driven program learn a variety of skills necessary to succeed in the high-paced hospitality industry, have 400 hours working in the industry and cumulative learning exams. More than 1,500 students in thirty-three Washington high schools participate in the program. Classroom learning is enhanced by visits from community mentors who are actual members of the hospitality world, who share their expertise and knowledge with the students, and teachers like Brenda, who find ways to connect and motivate the students to be successful.

In her nomination letter, students proclaimed, “To her, ProStart is not just a class, it’s a family…Brenda Marshall not only educates her students, but she instills a passion in every student to work hard for their futures.”

A teacher for twenty years, Brenda began teaching ProStart twelve years ago. She credits the support of the community mentors and other area teachers, who have built a strong support system for the program. Brenda discussed how rewarding it was to facilitate the pursuit of student goals and watch them grow into happy, successful adults.

Brenda has been nominated for the 2016 ProStart National Educator of Excellence Award from the National Restaurant Association. Brenda will also be representing ProStart on the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association Board of Directors.


The Washington Restaurant Association has served its members and helped them succeed in business for 86 years. Restaurants are the largest private employer in the state, with more than 218,000 employees. Washington’s 13,832 restaurants annually contribute $15.1 billion to the state economy, generate $757 million in state taxes, and pay more than $3.8 billion in wages each year. Washington restaurants are the cornerstone of the economy, vital to communities and fundamental to careers.