Parkside High School’s Career Technology Education Program Receives National Attention
Parkside High’s Automotive Technology program took first place while competing last weekend at the Community College of Baltimore County and will advance to Nationals in Michigan in June.
Jimmy Wood and Hunter Passon, Auto Repair students at Parkside’s Career Technology program, were admitted into this program after qualifying through a written exam. Wood, who is in his third year with the CT program at Parkside and a senior at Wicomico High says he has been involved with cars ever since he can remember.
“It started out with my Grand-dad, working with him on vehicles that he had in his yard,” Wood said.
Passon who helps make up this dynamic duo, has a similar story.
“My whole family is in automotive vehicles so I figured, I may as well jump into it too,” Passon said.
The AAA Student Auto Skills competition that was held in Baltimore last weekend is targeted towards high school students with interest in the automotive industry.
Shawn Taylor, who is an Automotive Technology teacher at Parkside has helped mentor the pair since they started. Taylor says this competition really helps prepare students for work in the automotive field.
“These two students qualified in February through an online exam,” Taylor said. “They were the top two from our school and our school was high enough to be part of the top ten in the state.”
This is a nationwide competition that allows students opportunities to win prizes, scholarships, tools and awards along with an experience valuable to their future.
“The winning states were given a packet of different scholarships from different automotive schools and when they go to Nationals, there are other kinds of scholarships to go along with it and other tools,” Taylor said.
The competition is co-sponsored by AAA and Ford Motor Company; these companies say they are committed to this program as an investment in the future of young people and improved automotive service for AAA members, Ford Motor Company customers and all motorists.
Everyone who registers for this competition gets the opportunity to demonstrate their automotive knowledge and qualify for prizes by taking a written exam. Those students scoring the highest participate in a “hands-on” competition within their respective state, challenging students to diagnose and fix uniformly “bugged” new Ford vehicles as quickly as possible while ensuring quality workmanship.
The winning two-person team from each state and their instructor are provided an expense-paid trip to the national finals.
The national finals include a written test and a “hands-on” competition, similar to the “hands-on” competition at the state level, but with a different, new Ford vehicle. The team with the fewest quality-of-workmanship demerits and the best combined total score of repair time and written exam scores will be the winner.
Wood, Passon and Taylor will fly to Deerborn, Michigan on June 7 and return June 10.