web_Jill Gore

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has recognized Norma Jill Gore of Brandon, a culinary arts instructor at Hinds Community College’s Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center for high school students, as winner of the 2015 ProStart Educator of Excellence Award. This honor is for educators who recognize, reward and promote excellence in teaching and in connecting students with the restaurant and foodservice industry through the ProStart program.

The application process includes recommendations from administrators and students, as well as words from the educator regarding the ProStart program and the opportunities it affords the students.

“Over the past two years, Mrs. Gore has inspired so many students to achieve their goals in the classroom. She has embraced every student with open arms. I have never had a teacher so dedicated to education,” said Lauren Bonham, a second-year Culinary Arts student.

Gore, a 28-year educator, has an unbridled passion for educating her students. Having joined the faculty of the Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center in 2000, she worked to bring the once struggling Culinary Arts program back to life.

Under her guidance, students are excelling in coursework, lab experiences, and have achieved a 100 percent pass rating on the MSCPAS for several years in a row. The success of the program and the students comes from working with the committed team members of her local advisory committee for Culinary and Restaurant Management. The ProStart program is supported by all committee members because of the rigorous curriculum accompanied by the hands-on experience in the lab. As a direct result of the program, employers are willing to pay students more because they are more knowledgeable and do not have to require as much on the job training.

Affectionately nicknamed “The Hammer,” Gore was thrilled when all 26 of her students “hammered the test one question at a time” and received passing scores on the National ProStart exam in 2014.

“Every second of her class was spent making sure we were prepared to enter competitions, exams, and restaurants with confidence,” said former student Victoria King.

Award recipients will be recognized at the 2015 Education Excellence Awards (EEA) dinner in Chicago in May. They will also participate in special educator programming, including a Food Planet Walking Tour of Chicago’s Gold Coast. The students and staff at the Pearl/Rankin Career and Technical Center are proud of the accomplishments of Jill Gore and salute her commitment to educational excellence.

For more information, about the culinary program at Hinds, click here.

As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 12,000 credit students in fall 2014. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.

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