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DDHS Auto Mechanics open house is 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15

Auto Mechanics Open House graphicYOU’RE INVITED: Come learn more about the auto mechanics program that’s coming back to DDHS in the fall of 2017!

Students, parents, business leaders and the public are invited to an open house of Delavan-Darien High School’s Auto Mechanics shop at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at DDHS, 150 Cummings St., Delavan.

The shop will be open for a tour and school officials will be on hand to discuss the bringing-back of the auto mechanics program to DDHS following an 11-year hiatus.

Teacher Mike Fellin will talk about the curriculum planned for the basic automotive course, which is expected to be offered in four semester-long sections this coming school year. Career and Occupations Director Cindy Yager will discuss Youth Apprenticeship and employment opportunities for students who are in the program, as well as opportunities for sponsorship and philanthropic support of the program. Local mechanic Tony Lynn, owner of Advanced Auto in Delavan and a DDHS Class of 1990 alumni, will talk about the job of an automotive technician and the need for more skilled technicians in the community here and elsewhere.

In addition to inviting students, parents and the public, the district invited about three-dozen businesses to the open house, including area auto mechanics, marine mechanics, small-engine workshops, parts distributors and others.

The event will be an opportunity to for anyone interested in the course to learn more and to have questions asked and answered.

 

HISTORY OF AUTOS COURSES AT DDHS

An auto mechanics or repair course has not been offered at DDHS since 2006, when the five auto-related courses available then were removed for budget-savings purposes.

Resurrecting the basic auto class will come at an initial cost of $3,400 in the first year. The Board of Education unanimously approved adding the course at its Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, board meeting.

Board members are hopeful community members and businesses step in to help support the course long-term, much like area businesses and philanthropists did with the revitalization of the woods, metals and Fab Lab spaces at DDHS.

“Once they see us putting the effort out and we have quality program, they will benefit from it, then they’ll invest in it,” Steve Logterman, board vice president, said in January.

DDHS Principal Jim Karedes said not all students are interested in going to college after graduation. The school and the district have been mindful of that in offering new courses that can set students on a successful career path.

“Auto is important to get back into the high school curriculum, especially with many DDHS students entering the workforce upon graduating,” Karedes said. “It is our obligation to prepare our students for careers that intrigue them. Given that we have more than a dozen auto repair shops in and around the Delavan-Darien area, clearly there is a need for these skills to be taught. It will allow our graduates to give back and contribute to our community.”

Karedes said the school surveyed current freshmen, sophomores and juniors and, out of 300 responses, a third of the students said they would definitely be interested in taking an auto class.

“We have about 800 students at DDHS, and we already have over 100 students desiring to take the course,” Karedes said. “One of our goals is to get our students actively and productively involved in the community. Conversely, we want the community actively invested in our school.  This course will provide yet another avenue where we can bridge the connection between our Delavan-Darien School District and the Delavan-Darien community.”

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Auto Mechanics is an introduction to the automotive service industry. It will give students exposure to auto design, power/transmission systems, repair, maintenance, and the tools and equipment used. They will understand the importance of safety procedures used when performing maintenance and repair tasks. Students will be involved in activities that provide for the development of team building and problem solving skills used to make them responsible, informed auto consumers. This entry-level course is designed to help students gain an appreciation for the automobile and recognize the many career paths available to a trained Auto Technician.

Auto Mechanics will be a 1/2 credit course for juniors and seniors. Power Systems and Energy is a prerequisite course.

Technology Education teachers Mike Fellin and Mike Rick will teach the Auto Mechanics course in the first and second semesters, respectively.

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