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* GM dealers support high-school instructors

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Above: Sunnyside High School automotive instructor Nick Paulakis rests his hand on an upside down GM diesel engine block as he asks a question during  a training session July 8, 2009, at Shoreline Community College.

Below: Chuck Nichols, from Marysville-Pilchuck High School, checks an error code in a Chevrolet truck as part of the week-long training program.

Click here for more photos.

 

17.jpgTwo dozen automotive instructors from high schools across Washington are converging on Shoreline Community College for 40 hours of training on the latest technology on the road.

 

And thanks to General Motors dealers across the state, it’s free.

 

“I know that the K-12 school systems are being affected by the economy like everyone else,” said Don Schultz, Director of SCC’s Automotive Technology Center. “Many of the school districts where these instructors are teaching the next generation of automotive technicians aren’t able to support this kind of training.

 

“Once I explained that to the GM dealers, they were happy to support the program. Not one of them said, ‘No.’”

 

What dealers said “yes” to funding are two, one-week training sessions with Patrick Koenen, the SCC instructor for the GM Service Technical College that is part of the college program. Koenen is literally a “World Class Technician,” the highest ranking possible by GM.

 

“The total cost of the two weeks is more than $4,000,” Schultz said. “This kind of support, at a time when the dealers are hurting, too, is phenomenal.”

 

Several of the instructors said that without the financial support, they would’ve gone without, ultimately hurting the high school students back home.

“This allows us to learn and then pass on to our students,” said Nick Paulakis, who has been the automotive instructor at Sunnyside High School for 26 years. “The first day, we were learning about the latest GM hybrids and last two days about latest advancements in diesels,” Paulakis said, adding that much of the training involves using computerized diagnostic tools. “When I was in tech school back in the ‘70s, they were saying things like, ‘Someday, there’ll be a computer in your car.’”

 

Paulakis said he usually goes to similar training at Portland Community College. “How can you pass up free?” he said.

 

Fred Donaldson, an automotive instructor in the Auburn School District, said that without the GM dealers’ support, he wouldn’t have been able to attend. “The district just doesn’t have the money for this kind of thing,” Donaldson said.

 

Chuck Nichols, the automotive instructor at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in the Marysville School District, echoed the sentiment: “Without the dealers’ help, I wouldn’t be here.”

 

Instructor/School

Mike Frank, Kelso High School

 

Nick Paulakis, Sunnyside High School

 

Dick Wynder, NC Tech Skills Center

 

James McLain, Kentwood High School

 

Fred  Donaldson, Auburn High School

 

Larry Turner, Puyallup High School

 

Karl Hoffman, Green River CC

 

Dan Sorensen, Green River CC

 

Fred Treadwell, Bellevue HS

 

Peter McCue, Port Angeles High School

 

Jerry Wade, Burlington-Edison HS

 

David Robbins, Meadowdale HS

 

Kary  Schneiderm, City Campus

 

George Sichting, Kentridge High School

 

John  Arnold, YV Tech

 

Dave Boos, New Mkt. Skills Center

 

Chuck Nichols, Marysville Pilchuck

 

Mark  Yosting, Moses Lake High School

 

John  Heflin, Moses Lake High School

 

Kirk  VanGelder, Clark County Skills Ctr

 

Hillary  Mayhan, Bellevue HS

John  McDonald, Sumner High School

 

Don Reynoldson, Ingraham High School

 

Ralph  Shultz, Yelm High School

 

 

Donating GM Dealers

 

Seaview Chevrolet

Lynnwood

 

Sunset Chevrolet

Sumner

 

Chuck Olson Chevrolet

Shoreline

 

Doug’s Northwest Cadillac, Hummer

Seattle

 

Brotherton Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, GMC

Renton

 

Roy Robinson Chevrolet

Marysville

 

Brooks Biddle Chevrolet

Bothell

 

Speedway Chevrolet

Monroe

 

Lee Johnson Chevrolet

Kirkland

  

Kirkland Pontiac, Buick, GMC

Kirkland

 

Cadillac of Bellevue

Bellevue

 

Valley Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, GMC

Mount Vernon

 

Valley Buick, Pontiac, GMC

Auburn

 

Ruddell Auto Mall

Port Angeles

SCC /Jim Hills

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