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On to nationals!

Congratulations Greenville High

The Greenville High School culinary team is headed to the national championships after cooking its way to first place in the state competition. Congratulations!

The school’s culinary students competed against 29 other teams, representing 27 schools, in the 15th annual California ProStart Cup presented by the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation held March 19 and 20 in Pomona. The win propels tiny Greenville High to the national event in South Carolina at the end of this month.

The students, along with teacher Judy Dolphin and coach Sean Conry, diligently prepared for this competition. “The team practices multiple times per week for four months in preparation for the event,” Conry said. “The dedication the teachers, coaches and especially the students put in is amazing. This is a major time commitment for all parties.”

But it paid off. Greenville took home the top prize in the culinary category with an Italian inspired menu of acqua pazza and budino. Acqua pazza refers to a recipe for poached white fish and budino is a sweet dish. Team members received trophies and scholarships, as well as expense-paid trips to the nationals.

The entire Greenville community — not just the students — is celebrating. Even prom has been postponed so that it won’t conflict with the students’ competition. The community, the students and their families deserve something to celebrate. It’s been a rough couple of years in the valley with issues simmering between the high school and Indian Valley Academy. Now the students have proven that they can rise above the chaos and attain a significant achievement.

The win is also a tribute to Judy Dolphin, who has been nurturing the culinary program at Greenville High for 15 years, and for Chef Sean Conry, who not only coaches Greenville, but the Quincy culinary students as well, and teaches at Feather River College. At a time when more attention is being paid to a renewed emphasis on vocational education, Conry and Dolphin are ahead of the pack. Their work with the culinary program ensures that the students will have the skills necessary to find a job in the food industry, where plenty of opportunities exist.

According to Conry, restaurant industry statistics indicate that:

– 1 in 3 Americans had their first job in restaurants;

– 10 percent of the US workforce is in restaurants;

– 80 percent of restaurant owners started in entry-level positions;

– It’s the second largest private sector employer with 14.7 million employees;

– $799 billion in national restaurant sales for 2017;

– $82 billion annually in Californiarestaurantsales;

– 69,900 eating and drinking establishments exist in California.

While the Greenville students may indeed pursue culinary careers, for now they have three weeks to prepare for their first appearance at nationals. We wish them luck and are very proud of their accomplishment.

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