Tom Varrone of Phoenix, AZ, was named the 2010 Educator of the Year during the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) Conference held recently at Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford, FL. Each year, Mitchell 1 recognizes one of the nation’s top teachers for excellence in automotive repair instruction. Varrone was presented with a check for $500 and a recognition certificate. He also receives a one-year, complimentary subscription to Mitchell 1’s popular OnDemand5.com for his school.
Varrone leads the BMW Service Technician Education Program (STEP) and the BMW FastTrack program at the Universal Technical Institute, Phoenix campus. He attended the Denver Institute of Technology and received a technician certificate in 1981. Varrone holds several certifications, including BMW Level I, Master Automotive ASE, Advanced Level Engine Performance ASE, Master Machinist ASE and Alternate Fuels Specialist ASE.
Also recognized during the NACAT Conference was high school senior Crystal Rogers from Gray Court, SC, who received the Automotive Technology Outstanding Student Scholarship for outstanding achievement in automotive technology scholastics.
During the awards ceremony, Rogers was presented with a check for $2,500, along with a recognition certificate courtesy of Mitchell 1.
By the time she graduated from Laurens District 55 High School in Laurens, SC, Rogers was a four-year automotive student in a three-year course of study. Not only did she choose to stay an “extra” year, but she also received straight A’s in the program. She will attend Tri-County Technical College in its bridge program and major in mechanical engineering. She plans to transfer to Clemson University in her sophomore year to continue her education. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree, Rogers would like to pursue a master’s degree in automotive engineering.
“One of the reasons that I chose this career path is that I simply love being around cars,” said Rogers. “Having the opportunity to take automotive classes in high school has helped me realize that cars are my true passion, and to be able to work with cars and design my own is simply the best career possible in my opinion.”