Heuer recognized by Wisconsin Restaurant Association
By Beth Williams, Current Staff
For family and consumer science educator Sally Heuer, the night of October 25 is bound to be delicious.
On that night, Heuer will receive the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year award for her work in the hospitality industry. She is specifically being recognized for bringing the ProStart Program, a nationally-recognized industry-driven curriculum, to the West Bend high schools. Heuer is one of two recipients being recognized for the award this year at the Wisconsin Restaurant Association’s Celebration of Excellence.
“It’s nice to see that people beyond the scope of just a school district can see that I’m making a difference in their eyes,” said Heuer, who added that she feels “very humbled.”
Heuer attributes her lifelong zeal for the hospitality industry, and culinary arts in general, to her own childhood experiences.
“I loved to cook as a kid. I had this friend named Jill, and when Jill would come over, we would do these little dinner parties. We’d decide to make a bunch of food and invite my parents’ friends over. And then after dinner, we would do this little song and dance show, with costume changes and everything. It was like a full night of entertainment. So, I guess I’ve always kind of been in the hospitality industry,” Heuer said.
“It’s nice that people beyond the scope of just a school district can see that I’m making a difference.”
– Sally Heuer, culinary arts teacher
After graduating from high school, Heuer went to Green Bay to study at a technical college. It was there that she got her first job in the hospitality industry.
“I worked at a Mexican restaurant in Green Bay called Sergio’s Mexican Restaurant. I was a server. I, of course, loved it!,” Heuer said.
Heuer then went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and University of Wisconsin-Stout. “I have kind of a colorful educational background,” Heuer said.
Because she could not find a major, Heuer decided to attend a technical college to become a dental hygienist. After deciding that dentistry was not the career path for her, she went to Stout for home economics, which is what her degree is in. Eventually, Heuer came to the West Bend School District to begin teaching. It is at the high schools that she helped develop the Prostart Program.
“Ten years ago is when I first heard of [the ProStart Program]. And when I came up here, the insider article said that we need to find a way to make this information relevant, rigorous, and applicable to today’s world. And so I selected the curriculum with a lot of backing from two of our former administrators. They gave me lots of support and encouragement along the way. And I think, without that, the program wouldn’t be where it is today,” Heuer said.
Many other administrators are also proud of the work that Heuer has been doing. Principal Bill Greymont acknowledges Heuer’s dedication to her job.
“She works hard. I think [this award] is a great recognition of that effort,” Greymont said.
When asked what she is going to accomplish next, Heuer simply said, “My students want me to open an Olive Garden.”
(Photograph by Beth Williams, Current Staff.)