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Meet Austin – He’s a senior at Buchanan High School in Buchanan, MI, and the November Continental Student of the Month!
Austin Sebasty is a senior in the Advanced Automotive Department at Buchanan High School in Buchanan, Michigan, a leader in the classroom, and an accomplished vehicle restorer. His instructor, ASE-certified Master Technician, Gene Brown, says Austin has the drive and desire to “do things the right way the first time.”
Continental has again partnered with Tomorrow’s Tech in 2020 to recognize the top students pursuing automotive careers with the Student of the Month program. The program spotlights automotive students nominated by their instructors with a special profile on Tomorrow’s Tech’s properties during the school year.
What inspired you to get involved in learning about automotive service?
I was always an auto-y tech guy, hands-on type person and loved to work on stuff. So, anyway, this came natural to me, to be in an auto shop. I’ve been working on trucks my whole life, and the past three years I’ve been building this thing, restoring it.
I think I’m a leader in the classroom because of how much I’ve learned and also how much I already knew. I have learned a lot over the past few years from my instructor, Mr. Brown – I usually do stuff right first time, if I know what I’m doing and if I don’t know what I’m doing, he helps me to figure it out. I’m then able to help teach other kids who don’t know as much. They really do come to me to learn stuff, and get help figuring out how to do stuff.
Tell us about your experience in the classroom at Buchanan High School.
The automotive program at Buchanan is a two year “CTE Advanced Automotive” program, which is two hours long each day. About 30 percent of it is classwork time and 70 percent is hands-on work in the shop. We also have a beginning auto program that is one hour long each day. The curriculum is based off of the CTE MLR (maintenance and light repair) although we go much further and deeper that maintenance.
We learn about and perform four-wheel alignments as well as heating and air conditioning service, including evacuating and recharging AC systems. Our instructors cover advanced engine and emission diagnostics using the latest diagnostic equipment, like the Bosch Encore unit. We perform many complete brake jobs and brake repairs throughout the year – one of my skill areas is brakes and can resurface rotors and drums.
Mr. Brown basically tries to run our school auto shop like a real world auto shop. He uses industry standard work orders and our school has equipment that is very similar to what repair shops are using.
Any after school or extracurricular activity you’re proud of?
I am a primary member of the ”CTE Student Leadership program” which is a student-led “club” that does different automotive-type activities throughout the year. One of the things we do is perform repairs and restoration to our school-owned 1976 Corvette. Many of these activities are voluntary and performed after school hours. I’ve put a lot of time into this and other automotive activities, some of which help the community.
You’ve been working on a personal vehicle for a while now. Tell us what you’re doing to your pickup truck.
I rebuilt everything. It’s an ‘06 Dodge 2500 Ram with an older 12-valve 5.9L Cummins in it. There’s a lot of custom stuff that I have to do to it to make everything fit.
I did a full frame restoration on it, stripped everything down to the frame, and got the axles and suspension powder coated. It all looks nice now. It’s basically a brand new truck.
It’s got a big turbo on it, a built transmission in it – it has all the supporting mods to make the big horse power number I want to make, and it should be making around 900- 950 horsepower when I get it done.
I’d like to get it all done this winter and be driving in the spring. I’d like to be pulling with it and pull at County Fairs, and take it to the drag strip, see what it can put down.
Austin’s Instructor, Gene Brown says “Austin has participated in my advanced automotive class for two years and has been an exceptional student. His passion for learning and the automotive repair industry has been obvious when observing his quality of work and drive to ‘do it right the first time.’
“We have our students do the ASE G1 entry level test towards the end of the school year, so they can get their certification. Austin couldn’t take the test last year because Covid shut that down, but he will be able to take the test this year. ASE is now offering a remote option for the test if Covid is still a problem. I am confident Austin will pass the test.”
To nominate a student for the Continental Student of the Month program, visit TomorrowsTechnician.com/student-of-the-month/.