Buffalo Grove's Hospitality Program Earns National Acclaim

© Ronna Pflanz

Buffalo Grove High School's Hospitality Program has been recognized as one of the best in the country.

The program has been named to the 2016 Elite 50, an annual selection of the top 50 secondary school hospitality programs in the nation by the National Center for Hospitality Studies.

Led by veteran educator Ronna Pflanz, students in Buffalo Grove's hospitality program, Bison Grill, work independently and collaboratively at community outreach events, professional luncheons and District 214 and school meetings. They have also catered for local and state government officials.

"Ronna Pflanz and the students have put in countless hours to develop such an incredible program that has been able to cater events for both the school and the district," said Jeff Bott, Buffalo Grove's division head of career and technical education. "The experiences from this program have helped shaped students' future."

The Elite 50 list recognizes high schools, as well as career and technical centers, that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in hospitality education such as culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and/or hospitality management.

In Illinois, Buffalo Grove High School is the only comprehensive public high school to make the list.

Schools were judged on student essays, an original recipe, informational materials and culinary and hospitality training.

Through these hands-on, relevant learning experiences, Buffalo Grove hospitality students sharpen their leadership skills, learn the demands of the restaurant industry and create delectable dishes for a large audience. 

The program's curriculum is backed by ProStart, which is run by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and state restaurant association partners.

"Our college-level culinary coursework would not be as strong without the motivation, hard work and the high level of expectation our students possess," said Pflanz. "I am extremely proud of their efforts and the recognition they have received."

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