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Thursday, 02 May 2019 17:22

From Auto Body Tech to Teacher & Back Again: The Felix Cano Story

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Geronimo Medrano (left) won the SkillUSA National Championships in 2000 under the tutelage of Felix Cano. Geronimo Medrano (left) won the SkillUSA National Championships in 2000 under the tutelage of Felix Cano.

Index

 

Two weeks later, Cano entered his classroom and everyone was unusually quiet, he thought.

 

“I looked in the back row, and Geronimo was there!” he said. “I could not believe it, and I got tears in my eyes. It’s on now, I told him, so we started training and focusing on nationals. People told us he would not win, but I believed in the kid.”

 

In a large arena with a big crowd, Cano and his best student entered the ring ready to rock and roll.

 

“I told Geronimo, ‘Don’t worry about anything,’” he said. “He was so mature for his age and confident, but I know he was going up against the best in the country. When it was announced that Geronimo won first place, I almost had a heart attack. The crowd erupted—it was the first and only time someone from Texas had gone all the way to the top!”

 

With a national champion now on his resume, Cano received multiple job offers and subsequently landed a position as the director of Dallas CAN Academy and then later at Lincoln Technical College.

 

"I took a couple jobs where the money was good and then retired at age 50. It was like the TV show, ‘Green Acres’---I had a little farm, but it didn't work out well, so 18 months ago I went back to work at Quality Colors,” he said.

 

Now a SkillsUSA judge, Cano can look back and see that everything has come full circle, he said.

 

"Geronimo has his own business, Dallas Star PDR, and many of my other students are out there in the industry and doing very well,” he said. “I always focused on my students, and that's why I succeeded as an instructor. I'm proud to say that I am still the only person in Texas to win a SkillsUSA National championship---a record I'll hold until another Geronimo Medrano comes around."


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