Tri-County Culinary Arts instructor receives prestigious award
A Culinary Arts instructor from Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School is receiving national recognition for her work both inside and outside of the classroom.
Nancy Haney was chosen by members of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Board of Directors as the winner of this year’s Massachusetts ProStart Educator of Excellence Award.
Haney, a 1981 graduate of Tri-County, has taught Culinary Arts at the school for 25 years. Nancy graduated from Johnson and Wales before becoming an educator. She worked at another school for four years prior to returning to Tri-County.
“Nancy Haney has been selected as the Massachusetts Educator of Excellence for many reasons. Nancy brings the word ‘awesome’ to a higher level,” said Stacey Sawyer, Director of Education for the MRA Educational Foundation. “She is always quick to offer any help we need, whether it's the answer to a curriculum question, space at her school for an event, or providing mentorship for a new ProStart teacher. Her students adore her. Her warmth and dedication to her students is obvious when you walk into her classroom. She pushes her students to excel and works hard to keep them interested in our industry. She's always looking for innovative ideas to help her students grow.”
Three students from the Culinary Arts Program shared their high praise for Nancy in recommendations they submitted to the board. One student said Haney’s challenging assignments and words of encouragement are a few of the things that make her an excellent teacher.
“This outstanding honor that has been awarded by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association exemplifies Nancy's dedication to her profession and commitment to her students,” said Tri-County Superintendent-Director Stephen Dockray.
The MRAEF said Haney’s work in the high school’s garden was one of the most innovative and interesting projects that sparked their attention. Haney serves as the coordinator of the garden, which in its two years of existence has produced more than 1,800 pounds of produce for charity. In addition to growing produce for local food pantries, instructors in the Culinary Arts Program use the garden to teach students how to incorporate homegrown vegetables in their cooking.
“Nancy goes that extra mile with student activities, having been a guiding force behind our school garden,” said Tri-County Principal Jean Mallon. “The bounty from the garden is donated to local food banks. Nancy willingly takes on additional activities, such as the Red Cross Blood Drive and the Prom Gown Exchange, projects that benefit the students, school, and community.”
The Educator of Excellence Award is given annually by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Educational Foundation as part of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart Educator Excellence Awards. Each participating state restaurant association nominates a leading educator who demonstrates a commitment to their students and to ProStart, a program that blends valuable classroom instruction with hands-on experience. This industry-based curriculum is the foundation of the Culinary Arts Program at Tri-County.
A National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation committee will select two recipients from all participating states to receive the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award.
Nancy was also handpicked by the NRAEF to attend the prestigious IFMA Gold and Silver Dinner on Monday, May 18, in Chicago as one of two nominated educators from across the country to represent ProStart. The event has been dubbed “The Academy Awards of Foodservice" by those in the industry.
“This is a huge honor for Massachusetts and a pinnacle awards gala in our industry,” said Sawyer.
Register now for the third annual Tee Off for Tri-County