Tascosa High School (Amarillo Independent School District) culinary arts instructor Kandice Norrid is the latest recipient of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s (TRAEF) prestigious Educator Excellence Award. Widely respected among her peers and students alike, Norrid is completing her 15th year in teaching and has created extraordinary opportunities for her students both in and outside of the classroom.
The Educator Excellence Award is presented by TRAEF to an educator who has made significant contributions to culinary education through both an unwavering dedication to their students and a strong presence in their community.
“Kandice’s experience, accomplishments and thriving program are a testament to what a difference a powerful educator can make in the lives of students,” said David Cea, TRA Education Foundation chairman. “She is empowering her students with lifelong lessons in teamwork and leadership that will serve them no matter what career path they choose.”
Norrid implemented the Texas ProStart curriculum at Tascosa High School six years ago, and provides a steady stream of creative opportunities throughout the year for her students to showcase their skills. She hosts classroom competitions similar to the popular TV shows “Chopped” and “Top Chef”, and allows students to cater special events at the high school, including teacher luncheons, and a four-course meal for a senior showcase.
In addition, Norrid has worked tirelessly to connect with the local restaurant community to provide internship and real-world opportunities for her second-year students. At the Panhandle Restaurant Association’s annual Restaurant Roundup event, her students’ dish won the competition for “Best Flavor Profile.” She also took a group of her students to Orlando, Florida last year to compete in a “Cook Around the World” competition at Disneyworld. Finally, Kandice and her students were invited to participate in the “Power of the Purse” event this year, hosted by the Northwest Texas Healthcare System, which featured former First Lady Laura Bush.
“I am extremely honored to be recognized by my peers and industry leaders for this prestigious award,” Norrid says. “I wouldn't be able to do what I do, if it wasn't for my students, past and future, who choose to work hard on a daily basis and be a part of this wonderful industry.”
The award will be presented at the Night of Excellence event at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, July 14. This showcase event is held in conjunction with the TRA Marketplace, July 15-16.
Norrid’s award package includes complimentary registration to the annual Culinary Educators Training Conference (CETC), $1,000 to use toward her Texas ProStart program, travel and registration to TRA Marketplace as well as a crystal trophy.
Event sponsors include: Texas Beef Council, Exclusive; Ecolab, Diamond; Ben E. Keith, Platinum; AutoChlor System, Gold; BJ’s Restaurants, Coca-Cola, Texas Mutual, United Healthcare, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Silver; El Centro College, BMI, Nicholls State University, Bronze.