Glendale Community College Hosts Arizona’s Top Auto Students Competition

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$12 Million in Scholarships, Prizes up for Grabs

Glendale Community College Logo (AZ)
We are honored to host the 63rd Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition at Glendale Community College.
-- Dr. Irene Kovala, President of GCC

Friday, May 4, Glendale Community College hosts 20 Arizona teens as they vie for scholarship money and the title of America’s Next Top Auto Technician in the state finals of the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition on the college’s main campus, 6000 W. Olive Ave., Glendale, Ariz.

Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs kicks off this year’s competition at 9:15 a.m. The contest concludes with an awards ceremony at noon.

Two-person teams from 10 Arizona high schools race against the clock to identify and fix intentionally installed “bugs” on 2012 Ford Fusions. After diagnosing and repairing their vehicles, the teams drive across the finish line, where the car is inspected for accuracy and workmanship. Arizona winners receive scholarships to automotive programs, such as the Ford ASSET program at GCC.

“We are honored to host the 63rd Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition at Glendale Community College,” said Dr. Irene Kovala, president of GCC. “We couldn't ask for a better organization to partner with in producing a competition that embodies our college's mission of community involvement, career training and commitment to academic excellence.”

“This competition aims to put aspiring auto techs on a career path that will foster education, development and ultimately equip them with the necessary tools to respond to increasingly sophisticated auto repair challenges,” said Don Nunnari, vice president of automotive services for AAA Arizona.

Based on scores from an online qualifying exam, the top-ranked automotive technology students from the following schools were selected to compete in Friday’s competition:

Flowing Wells High School, Tucson: (Instructor) Jerrad Mcmurrich & (Students) Tanner Wolverton, Chanse Haines

Sunrise Mountain High School, Peoria: (Instructor) Scott Hereder & (Students) Mark Shaffer,
Daniel Okuda

Kofa High School, Yuma: (Instructor) Norm Champagne & (Students) Ezequiel Lopez, Austin Roden

Prescott High School , Prescott: (Instructor) Mickey Chaney

Centennial High School, Peoria: (Instructor) Steve Maish & (Students) Eric Stover, David Mora

East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT), Mesa: (Instructor) Dan Christman & (Students) Lance Martinez, Fernando Hernandez

Mountain View High School, Tucson: (Instructors) Brian Parag, David Damiani & (Students) Lane Andrews, Jeremiah Butler, Myles Hall

Safford High School, Safford: (Instructor) Ed Taylor & (Students) Matthew Artman, George Vlassis

Sahuaro High School, Tucson: (Instructor) Robert Ramsey Jr. & (Students) Sebastian Orozco, James Baxter

“We hope many of these students go on to enroll in the Ford ASSET auto technician program at Glendale Community College, where they can earn an associate’s degree, work inside the service department at a Ford dealership and earn Ford’s specialized technical credentials,” said Mark Witthar, Phoenix regional manager for Ford Motor Company.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills nationwide automotive technology competition offers nearly $12 million in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians.

More than 10,000 students from across the nation compete for the chance to represent their school and state as part of a two-person team in the National Finals on the front lawn of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, in June.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition tests students’ automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities with a written test as well as a race against the clock to diagnose and properly repair intentionally “bugged” Ford vehicles. Ford and AAA are dedicated to the competition as part of their commitment to the future of automotive service in America.

Glendale Community College is one of the 10 regionally accredited Maricopa Community Colleges.

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Joan Westlake, Media Relations
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