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Another Cuyamaca College Automotive “Skills Day” in the Books

by Chris Branton

The 38th annual “Skills Day” Competition with the local high school automotive programs was held May 6th, 2017 at Cuyamaca College Automotive Department. We also had our Cuyamaca students competing against each other. Students arrived at 7:00 a.m. to participate in the half day event in a “Basic” competition for beginning high school students, and an “Advanced” competition for the 2nd-4th year students. Prizes were purchased from automotive funds and donations from ASCCA Local Chapter 24, Napa Auto parts, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and WPD (World Parts Depot). Volunteers from Automotive Service Counsel of California helped run the competition. Mr. Stuart Terry from Stuart Terry’s Automotive and Mr. Steve Vanlandingham from Van’s Automotive were judges. Many other people from ASCCA, O’Reilly’s and the College automotive staff were here to help judge, score, entertain, and feed the crowd. There also were driving simulators with real sprint cars. Snap-on tools were also awarded to students for the contests; thanks goes to Snap-on tools for the support!

Please remember to support our local ASCCA shops and our Foundation for their wonderful efforts. Special thanks to Mr. Dave Newkirk and his wife Sue of Hontech Automotive for supplying and serving lunch. Mr. Mitch Mendenhall from East County Diesel and ASCCA Chapter 24 president, along with his boss and co-owner Mr. Bobby Field, were busy cooking and cleaning. Our own Charles Koether (math instructor) was instrumental in bringing a Model-T 1913 truck. Mr. Mark Olinger of ATS (Automotive Technical Services) spoke to high school students about preparation for diagnosis and how diagnosis specialists are becoming a career option and necessary. Mark also performed training for educators about what electronic equipment should be used to diagnose late model vehicles. A big thank you to Cuyamaca College president Dr. Julianna Barnes and our dean Larry McLemore for attending! Thank you Sonia Lira and the Grossmont College District team for helping us fund our event, and for helping serve students food. All high school students were sent off with a goody bag provided from various donations and the automotive program. Setting up and organizing the event was no small task. Thanks to the automotive department staff: Mr. Chris Branton, Mr. Brad McCombs, Mr. Jim Hannibal, Mr. Will Lewon, Mr. Rich Gingery, Mr. Justin Pinnell, Mr. Jeff Crocker, Mr. Adam Letourneaux, as well as our auto students. Thanks, too, to Cuyamaca staff Ms. Patty Branton, Ms. Laci Diaz, and other classified staff that helped. It takes a team to do this, thanks to all!

This year’s winners were:

Basic Contest
1st place – Kyle Dodd and Garrett Brown from – Ramona High School
2nd place – David Garibay and Mario Espinoza – Monte Vista High School
3rd place – Parker Courtney and Elyjah Flores – Bonita Vista High School

Advanced Contest
1st place – Matt Rempel – Grossmont High School
2nd place – Jacob Byerline – Grossmont High School
3rd place – Ashley Martinez – Monte Vista High School

Cuyamaca Students
Advanced –
1st Nick Jones
2nd Catherine Valerio
3rd  Michael Handal

Justin LewisAnother Cuyamaca College Automotive “Skills Day” in the Books