B'laster Instructor of the Year Finalists 2021-2022 - Tomorrows Technician

B’laster Instructor of the Year Finalists 2021-2022

The Instructor of the Year program recognizes the automotive instructors at high schools, vo-tech programs and community colleges who think outside of the toolbox. Meet the 2021-2022 B’laster Instructor of the Year Finalists!


April Finalist Thomas Chandler

Thomas Chandler was worried that his career in the automotive program might be over before it even got started. Thankfully for the students at Laurens 55 High School in Laurens, South Carolina, he was able to find a job after graduation. Read his full story!

March Finalist, Jerry Koenig

For Jerry Koenig, Power Equipment and Diesel Technology instructor at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville, OH, being named the March 2022 candidate in the Instructor of the Year Program is more than simple recognition of a thirty-year career, it’s a full-circle return to where that career started. Read Jerry’s full story now.

February Finalist, John Stratton

John Stratton, automotive instructor at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES IN New Hartford, NY, says he’s proud of his career, but is reluctant to bask in any self-promoting spotlight. His recognition as the February finalist is testament to his colleagues, his administration, his students and all of his past mentors, he says, because THEY’RE the reason he is where he is. Read John’s story now.

January Finalist, Charlie Rose, Waltham High School, Waltham, MA

Charlie Rose, Automotive Instructor at Waltham High School, Waltham, MA, says he’s been around the industry long enough that he has seen some significant changes – yet he’s still excited to share what’s next with his proteges. He works hard at reaching his students, no matter their circumstances. Read Charlie’s story by clicking the link below.


December Finalist, Austin Thorson

From the motivation of a technical education teacher who saw something special in a skilled, but not particularly motivated student, Austin Thorson, Technical Education instructor at Elkhorn Area High School in Elkhorn, WI, learned that applying real world skills to theoretical applications can help solve seemingly insurmountable problems. Read his motivational story.

November Finalist, Michael Broud

Though he’s proud of what his program has accomplished so far, Michael Broud, automotive instructor with maintenance and light repair at Heritage High School in Palm Bay, FL, knows that the program’s – and his career – still has more good things in store. “Somebody told me long ago that teaching is nothing more than relentless preparation, and I’m constantly prepping for something,” says our November finalist. Read his story below.