WIX Filters, in conjunction with Tomorrow’s Tech magazine, has named Iredell-Statesville Automotive Technology Center in Troutman, NC, as the 2015 School of the Year. During a surprise ceremony Tuesday morning for roughly 100 students and instructors, Luke Lambert, crew chief for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman, spoke with the students about the importance of education in their field.
Iredell-Statesville is the eighth recipient of the annual program to find and name the best technical training school in the country. WIX and O’Reilly Auto Parts are title sponsors of the national award in conjunction with Tomorrow’s Tech.
“The Iredell-Statesville Automotive Technology Center is a remarkable program that’s dedicated to training the next generation of technicians,” said Jennifer Gibson, brand manager for WIX Filters. “It’s easy to see the passion and drive of these students and their instructors. This type of program assures us that the future of this industry is in good hands.”
As the 2015 School of the Year, the Iredell-Statesville Automotive Technical Center received:
• $2,500 donation to the school’s automotive technology program from WIX Filters
• Merchandise from O’Reilly and WIX Filters
• Travel for the school’s instructor and a guest to Las Vegas to attend Babcox Media’s recognition dinner at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX)
“Honestly, we’re speechless,” said Ashley Pope, automotive instructor at Iredell-Statesville. “People don’t always expect this level of real-world experience and professionalism from a high school program, but we’ve worked hard to instill a sense of dedication and respect in our students. We are honored to take our place as one of the best automotive programs in the country.”
The School of the Year program is open to all high schools and post-secondary schools that have a subscription to Tomorrow’s Tech magazine. Of the 77 entries for this year’s contest, 54 were from different high schools, technical schools and colleges in four geographic regions of the United States. Twenty schools were asked to submit a video highlighting their technical programs. Judges selected four finalists, or one from each region, from the video entries.
Click here to see Iredell-Statesville’s video.
“We are thrilled that we’re continuing to see remarkable improvements in automotive education programs throughout the country and Iredell-Statesville is no exception,” said Dean Martin, publisher of Tomorrow’s Tech. “It’s our goal, along with the contest’s sponsors, to recognize the skills and knowledge future automotive service technicians are taking with them into the field.”
This year’s three runners-up are: Delaware Technical Community College, Georgetown, DE; University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima, OH; and South East Tech, Sioux Falls, SD. Each runner-up will receive a professional automotive tool set and $250 gift card from O’Reilly Auto Parts.
For more information about WIX, visit www.wixfilters.com.