Founded in 1967, the ACCSC honors one educator per year following a rigorous nomination and selection process. The ACCSC governs 800 private career schools throughout the United States and abroad, making this merit even more impressive for McNulty and the academy. This year, the awards committee had many worthy candidates and faced a difficult decision in making the selection for the Instructor of the Year. “This year's winning candidate, Chef Victor McNulty, truly embodies the characteristic and qualities of an outstanding, dedicated, passionate instructor,” stated Kerry Lambert of the ACCSC.
McNulty has made a tremendous impact on the Culinary Academy of Long Island during his five-year tenure. He has researched, developed and implemented a new Professional Baking and Pastry Arts Program, as well as instituted weekend recreational cooking and baking classes. As a chef, instructor and continuing-education director, McNulty provides unique educational opportunities for his students while teaching the programs he has developed, as well as professional culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and restaurant management. The professional programs teach students how to work in an “on the job” environment while concentrating on method and technique, and the recreational classes teach the same method and technique without the stress of the professional business atmosphere.
“Chef Victor exemplifies our mission of providing quality education by combining real-world experience with expert skills needed to succeed. The fact that one of our educators has been recognized by a national accrediting agency, and stood out among many other nominees, is an honor for us, too. We are very proud to have such a notable leader on our staff,” said Michael Levitt, executive director of the Culinary Academy of Long Island.
McNulty has used both his professional and educational experience to inspire and motivate students. His charitable contributions are stellar, and he regularly gives his time to organizations such as The Interfaith Nutritional Network, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc., and The Black Culinarian Alliance, among many others. He encourages the same sense of goodwill in his students and always involves them in his charitable endeavors.
As one of his students noted, “Chef Victor makes coming to class every day exciting. He has been blessed not only with culinary skills, but also with the ability to teach and to share his passion for what he does. Chef Victor's abilities stretch far beyond the classroom. He always goes above and beyond to do whatever is necessary to make himself available to any student who has a question or just a desire to learn.”
“It feels nice to be recognized by receiving this award, but to be honest, I get this award every day from my students!” McNulty exclaimed.
While reflecting on the achievement and the fact that chefs, by nature, are very competitive professionals, McNulty simply explained, “Competitions are not my gig. I only compete against myself—similar to when I used to run marathons. In a marathon you are not really competing against anyone else, just yourself, the clock and the road. I feel the same way about cooking and teaching. The only person I have to be better than is myself. I focus on being better than what I used to be and if I can achieve that, then I believe the rest will just fall into place.”
In his acceptance speech at the ACCSC Professional Development Conference in September, McNulty shared that he consistently passes this humble confidence onto his students—impressing upon them that “the only person you ever have to be better than is yourself.”
The focus and dedication instilled in McNulty has led him to achieve the 2009 Instructor of the Year award and will lead to many more achievements in his future. As McNulty notes, if students follow this mantra, then “success will manifest itself.” Passing on his insight to his students, they will be sure to succeed.
Photo caption: Susan Johnson, ACCSC commissioner, congratulates Instructor of the Year Victor McNulty of the Culinary Academy of Long Island.