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      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

      Educational Institute Honors Harry Gayes as Outstanding High School Teacher

      Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 11, 2008 - Harry Gayes, a teacher at Oak Ridge High School, Orlando, Florida, is the 2008 recipient of the Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding High School Teacher, presented by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Gayes received the award during the AH&LA Summer Summit in Oklahoma City, during the AH&LA Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 11.

      Gayes is one of only a handful of teachers in the United States who teaches EI's Lodging Management Program (LMP) Year 1, LMP Year 2, and START (Skills, Tasks, and Results Training) curricula simultaneously. Under his leadership, Gayes' students are receiving hospitality scholarships and internships, and recently won the 2008 LMP National Competition.

      Gayes teaches with enthusiasm and creativity to instill a sense of pride, commitment, and discipline in his students. He provides his students with matching polo shirts to create an atmosphere of belonging and teamwork. His incentives for perfect attendance (movie tickets and park passes) have increased his class attendance rates, which have given his students more learning opportunities. The results of his encouragement show: more than 90 percent of Gayes' students pass their course exams.

      To help his students meet the work requirement needed to earn the certification designation that is part of the START and LMP programs, Gayes has partnered with local hospitality industry employers, including the Orlando Vista Hotel at Lake Buena Vista and the Orange County Convention Center, to provide internships for his students. Gayes even encourages his ninth-grade students, who are too young to be employed, to volunteer at these properties, allowing them to gain experience before they are hired.

      Gayes came to teaching with a strong background in the hospitality industry, with more than 30 years' experience. He holds the professional designations of Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) and Certified Hospitality Instructor (CHI) from the Educational Institute. He was also an advisor to EI for the revision of the LMP curriculum.

      About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
      Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute’s mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.

      Elizabeth Johnson - ejohnson@ahla.com

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