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T2/Chicago Pneumatic School of the Year Finalists Narrows

20 School Finalists from Four Regions Move On to Second/Final Round

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Judges for the T2/Chicago Pneumatic School of the Year contest, which ending in December, have been busy finalizing the first round of entries.

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Tomorrow’s Technician (T2) editor Ed Sunkin said he was pleased with the response from the magazine’s readers.

“We received more than 170 applications nominating more than 80 schools,” Sunkin said.
“We have scored all the initial applications in order to choose the Top 20 best applicants. The quality of many of the applications was very good, making it difficult to determine the Top 20. There are so many excellent high schools, colleges, and career centers teaching automotive instruction.”

Sunkin said that applications came from as far west as the Bret Harte Union High School in Angels Camp, CA, to the east, represented by Mascenic Automotive Career Center in New Ipswich, NH.

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“We received applications from instructors, principals, department chairs, and students,” Sunkin said, adding that the T2 team received applications from several schools in North Dakota, including the Quentin N. Burdick Job Corps program in Minot, the Missouri River Correctional Center in Bismarck, and the ND State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND.

Representing the south, applications were received from several schools in Florida and Alabama, including LBW Automotive Department in Opp, AL, Inlet Grove Community High School in Inlet Grove, FL, Chipola College in Marianna, FL, and Seminole CC in Sanford, FL.

Most of the regions of our country have been well-represented by applicants,” Sunkin said. “Some applicants are located in major cities, but it was surprising to me how many technical educators are teaching students in more rural or less-populated areas.
 
The following are just a few of the comments and qualifications the judges have recorded from the top 20 applicants:
• “The program is taught by two instructors and an assistant with 30 years combined teaching experience.  The two instructors are Master Certified Technicians, and maintain their technical competency by attending over 100 hours of training annually.” Parkside High School

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• “The automotive program provides real world live work experience for students with on-going Free Safety Inspections and Service and Repair work for Senior Citizens, Single Parents, and people with Disabilities, at a minimum charge.  This is an opportunity for students to give back to their community and is funded and provided by a Learn and Serve Federal Grant.”  Haney Technical Center and Tech High School

• “No student is treated like a number here. Our college is unique in that we treat every student as individuals.  We adapt our teaching styles and make personal connections with each student to ensure student success.”  Renton Technical College

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• “We have placed more student interns with dealerships than any other automotive program in the United States for the past two years.  In 2007, EVIT students placed first in the Arizona SkillsUSA competitions, and took first place in both the Ford Pit Crew Challenge and the Arizona Automotive Dealers Association Troubleshooting Contest.”  East Valley Institute of Technology

The T2/Chicago Pneumatic School of the Year Top 20 finalists are:

Northeast Region
Automotive Training Center, Warminster, PA
Ivy Tech Community College, Ft. Wayne, IN
Parkside High School, MD
University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima, OH
Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL

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Southeast Region
Ayden-Grifton High School, Ayden, NC
Haney Technical Center and Tech High School, Panama City, FL
LBW, Opp, AL
Piedmont Technical College, Greenwood, SC
Tennessee Technology Center, Newbern, TN

Northwest Region
Clover Park Technical College, Lakewood, WA
College of Eastern Utah, Price, UT
NCT Tech Center, Wenatchee, WA
Renton Technical College, Renton, WA
Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs, WY

Southwest Region
Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO
Coffeyville Community College, Columbus, KS
East Valley Institute of Technology, Mesa, AZ
Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, CO
Sultana High School Automotive Technology Program, Hesperia, CA

For the second part of this process, finalists have been ask to provide additional information about their school and the automotive program.  Some of the information to be considered includes:  the teacher/student ratio, graduation percentage, community service, special projects, scholarships for underprivileged students, job placement percentage, types of programs offered, number of instructors and which ASE certifications they hold and any awards or recognitions the schools may have received.

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Candidates also were  asked to provide one letter of recommendation from a current student, a parent and their principal or director/administrator. Additional information will be considered as well, including photographs. Finalist are encouraged to be creative in this second and final step of the contest.

Finally, the school instructors were asked to provide answers to the following questions:

1) What do you think makes a good power tool for your shop?

2) What tool/feature on a tool would you like to have but have never seen?

3) What is your favorite car television/cable show?  Your favorite custom car/hot rod designer?

4) What is your favorite racing series:  IRL, NHRA, NASCAR, or Formula One?

Judging for this final step to name a top school from each region, as well as the 2008 T2/Chicago Pneumatic School of the Year, will begin February 28.
T2 will provide more news in March.

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