Riverwood’s Chef Elissa Oliver (Submitted/Riverwood International Charter School)

Riverwood International Charter School’s Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Elissa Oliver has won the Georgia ProStart Teacher of the Year Award for 2022, the school announced in a release.

Oliver received her award at the Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards Gala, which honors Georgia’s restaurant industry. Peers nominate candidates for the awards, with winners selected by past honorees in the GRACE Academy.

Oliver teaches approximately 200 Riverwood students. She also serves as a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and Pathway Specialist of Culinary Arts for Fulton County Schools.

“This award is an honor to me and our Culinary Arts students because it means that we are the number one program in the state of Georgia,” Oliver said. “I could not have won this award without the students I teach. I have them for three or four years which means I am a large influence on them during their high school years, and they are a huge part of my life.”

Her previous honors include being recognized as Georgia ProStart Educator of Excellence (2020), National ProStart Best Practice/Knowledge Sharing Educator (2020), Georgia ProStart Educator of Excellence (2022) and by Marquis Who’s Who for Excellence in Culinary Arts and Education (2022).

She is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and earned an advanced teaching degree from Georgia State University. She has led Riverwood’s Culinary Arts Department for nine years.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.