Chef Reginald Martin, culinary-arts instructor at Westside High School in Houston, Texas, is the recipient of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s 2013 Educator Excellence Award. Martin has been leading Westside’s program since 2008 and has more than 100 students enrolled in the program.
The Educator Excellence Award is presented to an educator who has made significant contributions to culinary education through both an unwavering dedication to students and a strong presence in the community using the Texas ProStart curriculum.
“Reggie works tirelessly to provide the most rewarding culinary and hospitality education possible for his students,” says Jerry Walker, TRA Education Foundation chairman and owner of Lunada Tex-Mex Grill, Dallas. “According to his students, he has taught them professionalism, teamwork, ethics and leadership skills. These are skills that they will take with them no matter what career path they pursue.”
Martin is also a successful business owner, and his industry experience and connections with other industry leaders allows his students to engage in unique learning opportunities and gain real-world experience.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by my peers in the education and restaurant industry,” Martin says. “Receiving this award really validates our students’ achievements in the Texas ProStart program. We have worked extremely hard at Westside High School to challenge our students in the classroom through the Texas ProStart curriculum to prepare them for careers in the hospitality and restaurant industry. This award is a daily reminder for me to strive for excellence as I educate the young culinarians that will be the future of our industry.”
The award was presented at the 2013 Southwest Foodservice Expo, June 24, in Dallas. Texas ProStart is an industry-based high school culinary arts and restaurant management program that prepares students for careers. Currently, the program is offered in more than 200 Texas high schools, reaching more than 15,000 students annually.
PHOTO: (l. to r.) Linda Bebee, Texas Beef Council; Don Courville, Auto-Chlor; Reginald Martin; Earl Mulley, TRA Education Foundation chairman.