PCTI culinary arts students win state ProStart championship and will represent NJ in the national competition

February 16th, 2016
Pcti prostart competition 2 crop

PCTI ProStart teams celebrate their wins at the state competition. Back Row: Samantha Gonzalez (Paterson), Casey Creazzo (West Milford), Lucia Alarcon (Paterson), Julie Velasquez (Clifton), Frankie Flores (Totowa), Kathleen Ortiz (Hawthorne), Ashley Gulliksen (Haskell), Jasmine Garcia (Haledon), & Katherine Yakovlev (Wayne). Front Row: Melanie Pires (Clifton), Gianna Aquino (Passaic), Jeyuanita Whitaker (Paterson), Emily Irizarry (Prospect Park) & Lilibeth Velazquez (Hawthorne)

Culinary Arts students of Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) have proved that hard work and practice truly pays off.

At the 10th Annual State ProStart Championship Competition, the school’s two culinary teams brought home the gold (for the 10th year in a row) and the silver.  The Management Team took first place for the 4th time in the past ten years.

This clean sweep means that PCTI will be representing New Jersey in April at the National ProStart Championship Competition in Grapevine, Texas.

PCTI Pro start competition 1

PCTI’s MVP award winners Lilibeth Velazquez (left, Management Team, Hawthorne) and Katherine Yakovlev (Culinary Team, Wayne), with culinary instructor Celeste Zaleski (center, West Milford), recipient of the 2016 NJ ProStart Educator of Excellence Award.

In addition to these outstanding overall wins, Katherine Yakovlev (Culinary) and Lilibeth Velazquez (Management) were selected as MVPs out of all the students who participated.

PCTI Culinary Arts Instructor and Management Team Coach, Celeste Zaleski, was also recognized with the New Jersey ProStart Educator of Excellence Award for 2016.

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