Lowndes County High School adds AYES program to NATEF Accredited Automotive Program

Many good things are going on almost behind the scenes in our career programs.  I visit a lot of very good Automotive programs and here is one that is special to me. I first met Cory and Don via the New Teacher class at Valdosta State. Dr. Charles Backes has taught this course for new Trade and Industry teachers for quite some time. I presented to the class Corey and Don when they started teaching and right off I knew they were remarkable!

They have never let me down. They took an old, outdated and unsafe auto program; and created a safe, industry recognized learning environment.

The program supervisors Mr. Bruce Crook and Ms. Lynne Wilson have every reason to be proud of these two teachers, as they demonstrate excellence in education! It is wonderful to see what happens when professionals with the right attitudes get together on a team effort.

The Business and Education meeting starts with a lunch and everyone is introduced. Corey introduces former student and now Griner Cadillac’s master transmission specialist Michael Powell to his right. Mike Marafino,(white shirt) service manager Griner Cadillac looks on, as does Steve Riley,(blue shirt) service manager, Langdale Honda listens to Corey.

Many of the members have current and former students of the program as employees

Many of the members have current and former students of the program as employees. All agreed that the AYES model of the mentor and intern will benefit the franchise and the students of the program.

The Advisory Committee for the Lowndes County High School

Automotive Program recently approved affiliation with AYES.  The purpose of Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES)  is to develop career-ready, entry-level automotive technicians and service personnel through a series of Business and Education partnerships.  High school automotive technology students are presented the opportunity and guidance to explore rewarding automotive careers, and provided the tools and support to learn, develop and practice  the technical, academic and employability skills needed for success. The capstone of the AYES model is a 320-hour workplace internship, usually during the summer between the junior and senior year, where working along side a trained and qualified mentor – usually an ASE-certified Master Technician – the student prepares for entry-level career.

LCHS Automotive Advisory members represent many of the local dealerships and service centers.  Pictured left to right:  (Front row) Steve Riley, Langdale Honda; Don Faircloth, Lowndes High; Mike Marifino, Tommer Griner Cadillac/Nissan; Sonny Reeves, AYES Field Manager; David Wilson and Scott Colwell, Langdale Ford.  (Back row) Roger Christie, Lowndes County Schools Transportation Director; Michael Powell, Tommy Griner;  Bruce Crook and Corey Nawolski, Lowndes High School.  Members committed to support the program but unable to attend the meeting are

Prince Chevrolet – Alan McLendon
Pipkin Motors – Sue Steadman
Langdale Hyundai – Staphanie Augustine
Valdosta Toyota – Terrill Head
Cass Burch – Rusty Griffin (Quitman Dodge and Chevrolet)
                    Scott McQuaid (Valdosta Dodge and Jeep)
Attending the meeting and taking the picture:
Lynne J. Wilson
Director of CTAE and Public Relations
Lowndes County Schools
1592 Norman Drive
Valdosta, GA  31601
The Automotive program is fortunate to have two highly motivated teachers. Here is more about these excellent teachers.
                                                                                            Automotive   Instructor Don Faircloth explains a math problem in a Brakes class

Don Faircloth II – Don is married with 2 children, 19 and 13. He has been an Automotive teacher at Lowndes County High School in Valdosta, Georgia for 9 years. Don has been around cars most of his life. He helped his father rebuild his first engine at age 7, and rebuilt his first engine solo at age 14. After his time in the U.S. Navy studying Nuclear Physics, he returned to Valdosta and began a career in the automotive industry. Don has worked in many aspects of the industry; from managing an AutoZone parts store for 5 years, to working at independent garages, to working at factory dealerships before receiving the opportunity to become a teacher. Don is an ASE Master Technician, as well as a Ford Master Technician. He has received over 600 hours of specialized training from Ford Motor Co. Since Don has began teaching in 2004, he has returned to school and received his Bachelors of Science in Education and his Masters of Education degrees from Valdosta State University. He is currently on track to start his Doctorate degree in the spring. Teaching is Don’s passion. He loves the opportunity to shape our youth into valuable and contributing members of society and help keep our industry thriving through generations to come.

Corey shared how many new items were recently purchased for the students to use in training.

Corey Nawolski is an Automotive instructor at Lowndes County High School (LCHS) in Valdosta, Georgia. He began working on cars with his father as a young child. When Corey enrolled in High School (at Lowndes High), he began taking automotive classes. During his senior year, Corey transitioned into the Youth Apprenticeship program where the school systems transportation department employed him. In 2005, Corey transitioned from being a technician into the teaching profession. In 2009, he was honored as the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) New Teacher of the Year; Corey then went on to win the New Teacher of the Year award for Region Two (Southeastern United States). While actively seeking to improve the LCHS Automotive program, Corey has pursued higher education. He has completed his undergraduate and Master’s degree. In addition, he is working on his doctorate and should complete it during the upcoming summer.

For information on obtaining NATEF   accreditation for your program please contact www.natef.org

For information on the industry recognized AYES model for interns and mentors please contact http://www.ayes.org

2 Responses to “Lowndes County High School adds AYES program to NATEF Accredited Automotive Program”

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