New Caney High School culinary arts students place 4th nationally.

By: Donna Wick Publicity
| Published 05/11/2015


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – The New Caney High School Culinary Arts Management Team recently attended the 2015 National ProStart Invitational in Anaheim, California and placed fourth out of 41 teams in the nation. Team members Captain Alyssa Muckelroy, Chris Barrios, Brandon Mata and Esteban Torrez represented Texas as state champions after winning the Texas ProStart Invitational competition, held earlier in Waco. All team members are high school seniors this year with plans to do undergraduate studies in Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. When a ProStart judge jokingly asked Alyssa Muckelroy if she was sure she was still in high school, she replied, “Only for about thirty more days.”

Montgomery County Restaurant Association is Proud to Support the Team

Instructors Laura Johnson and Cherie Busch are proud of their students’ hard work. “These students have spent hundreds of hours preparing for this competition,” Johnston said. “We are so thankful to ProStart for the opportunities they provide for our students.”

Local community leaders are also proud of the team’s success. Prior to their departure for Anaheim, the Greater Montgomery County Restaurant Association (MCRA) presented a donation of $2,500 to the NCHS Team to assist with expenses in travelling to the national competition. Terry McBurney, President of the MCRA, was on hand for the check presentation. “Not only are we proud of these students, but we are equally impressed with their hard work and desire to succeed,” McBurney said, “Having these students represent the great State of Texas and attend school here in Montgomery County bodes well for the ProStart Culinary Arts program.”

To compete in the restaurant management category, students must present their restaurant plan in a conceptual format, from designing a floor plan and creating a menu to establishing problem-solving techniques. The NCHS management team developed a written business proposal complete with a marketing strategy and visual displays. They were then tested on their critical thinking skills by responding to potential management challenges.

The National ProStart Invitational is the country’s premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. The ProStart Invitational competition concluded with an award ceremony. Highlights from the competition are available on the National Restaurant Association website at

Part of the mission of the MCRA is to promote hospitality industry education within the community. The organization hosts several fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for educational initiatives and programs, including ProStart. For more information, visit

Terry McBurney is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Republic Grille in The Woodlands. The Republic Grille is located at 4775 W. Panther Creek and will be celebrating its one-year anniversary this May. Visit their website at