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Thursday, 27 May 2010 23:14

Shreveport, Louisiana’s Caddo School Named ‘2010 School of the Year’

Caddo Career & Technology Center, a vocational high school in Shreveport, LA, was named the Tomorrow’s Technician/Chicago Pneumatic 2010 School of the Year.


Students’ training begins outside the classroom, where instructor Mike Falkner and other instructors greet them at the door with a firm handshake and a good morning. Shirts must be tucked in, name tags must be visible and they’re reminded to look people in the eye when they speak.

“We run our class just as though they were going to work,” said Gary Weese, who with Falkner teaches students about everything under a car from bumper to bumper.

On hand to present the award and tools to the school were representatives from Tomorrow’s Technician, program sponsors Chicago Pneumatic and WIX Filters and custom hot-rod designer, builder and painter Rich Evans of Huntington Beach Bodyworks.        
More than 300 applications from secondary and community colleges were submitted for the contest, which recognizes the top automotive technical schools and instructors throughout the country. This was the first time a high school has won the award.

Stevens said the selection committee received a four-inch binder full of heartfelt recommendations from students, teachers, parents and community members about the school’s program. Student-teacher ratio, graduation rates and awards and recognitions also were considered.


“It’s impossible to get a job at a dealership without this (program),” said senior Jacob Miller. His internship at Mansfield Auto World will transition into a full-time job next month as an automotive technician.

About 80 students are in the automotive technology program and, yes, there are a few girls.

“They really want this program to work, and it has gotten better every year,” said Bobby Frugé, assistant service manager at Chevyland on Youree Drive.

The dealership recruits and hires interns from the program every year, said Frugé, who meets quarterly with nearly local 20 service managers to discuss ways to improve the training program. Students interview with local dealerships and are selected for summer internships that often lead to full-time jobs. Strong relationships with the business community has led to more than $400,000 worth of equipment and cars being donated to the school.

The program was the first in the state to receive the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation certification, and students have competed and placed in various tournaments, including the Ford AAA in Alexandria and the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York.

Besides the bragging rights of being named the nation’s best automotive school, CC&TC will also receive: $10,000 in Chicago Pneumatic Tools; $5,000 in WIX Filters; one-day WIX Filtration Learning Experience at the school; a trip for 4 to Charlotte, NC; one-day WIX Institute of Filtration Technology and WIX Factory Tour; Joe Gibbs Racing Tour and Chicago Pneumatic tool demonstration; and Chicago Pneumatic and WIX Filters gear.

See also Rich Evans’ column this issue.

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