Long-Time FCPS Auto Tech Teachers Mentor New Generation Of Students

BURKE, VA — Two prolonged-time automotive know-how lecturers in Fairfax County General public Colleges, who have been most effective pals considering the fact that attending South Lakes Superior Faculty in the 1980s, remain enthusiastic about teaching their students, specially in a time when automobile experts are necessary more than at any time.

With a lot more than 50 years of put together teaching knowledge, Dominic Prakash and David Plum are the guide automotive technological innovation academics at Lake Braddock Secondary High School in Burke. They educate classes to pupils who want to study the principles of automotive routine maintenance or college students who are thinking of a profession as an auto technician or in a connected trade.

Plum joined the instructing employees at Lake Braddock in 1996. 3 a long time later, he confident Prakash to utilize for an open up vehicle technician instructing situation. They’ve led the car tech method at Lake Braddock at any time considering the fact that.

One particular of the greatest elements of instructing the auto engineering courses at Lake Braddock is when former learners come back to visit or ship emails thanking them for their programs, Prakash and Plum reported in an job interview with Patch. Former pupils have returned to explain to them that their courses adjusted their lives and enable them know about their effective occupations in the automotive technological innovation area.

No matter whether another person is college-bound or aiming for a future vocation as an car technician, Prakash and Plum hold their students’ most effective passions at coronary heart.

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Many pupils have absent on to to do the job in the automatic technological innovation industry, even though others utilized the coursework supplied by Prakash and Plum to go after studies in engineering in college or university or other trade occupations — like certified electricians — the place automotive concept and maintenance can enable them advance in their field.

One of Plum’s former college students at Lake Braddock, Laura Garcia, is now a complete-time faculty member in the automotive technology program at Northern Virginia Community University.

Lake Braddock Secondary University automotive tech trainer David Plum is effective with a pupil in the car store classroom. (Karen Bolt/FCPS)

“He always permit me go as much as I could on a restore occupation on my very own just before intervening to help,” Garcia stated of Plum’s instructing type. “This aided me to be a much more self-ample automotive experienced and gave me the self-self confidence to do so.”

Right after graduating from Lake Braddock, Garcia entered into the NOVA Automotive Cooperative schooling program. As a college student at NOVA, she was employed for the duration of her initially job interview at Cowles Ford in Woodbridge, and finished up graduating summa cum laude in her class at NOVA.

Garcia, who has been a complete-time faculty member at NOVA for far more than six several years, recalls Plum’s feeling of humor and immediate interaction.

“The society he constructed in the classroom was pretty much like a actual store ecosystem and is what influenced me to continue in the field considering the fact that I felt I identified my area in the entire world,” she explained to Patch.

From South Lakes To Lake Braddock

Plum and Prakash very first achieved in an FCPS automobile class when they had been college students at South Lakes Significant School in Reston in the 1980s.

The two fondly remember Buddy Younger, their auto shop trainer at South Lakes High. “He was these kinds of a very good mentor — the purpose I bought up and went to school in all those days was for automobile store class. I realized that was there for me, and it created getting through the working day a little bit easier,” Plum said in an interview with the FCPS communications workforce.

Following graduating from university, Plum and Prakash finally became lead automotive technicians at Saturn and Chevrolet dealerships in Northern Virginia.

Plum then took information from his father, FCPS teacher and school administrator Ken Plum of the Plum Centre for Lifelong Finding out, and made a decision to give training a consider in 1996, when he was hired by FCPS. 3 several years later on, the extensive-time Lake Braddock car instructor who was performing with Plum retired and Prakash was employed for the career.

“Anybody who understood us expanding up would see the strategy of the two of us training alongside one another as ridiculous,” Prakash instructed FCPS communications.

About the yrs, nevertheless, Prakash and Plum have alerted their colleagues in the car tech industry to instructing openings in the automotive technology plans at FCPS higher universities.

Dominic Prakash, who has been the co-guide of the Lake Braddock Secondary Faculty auto method for 23 decades, operates with a scholar beneath the hood of a motor vehicle. (Karen Bolt/FCPS)

According to a recent research, a lack of 642,000 specialists is predicted by 2024. Variations in younger people’s state of mind on driving and motor vehicle culture are contributing to the lack in vehicle technicians.

FCPS is undertaking its portion to give college students an opportunity to find out much more about the fundamentals of car repairs or pursue a occupation as an automobile technician in a globe where autos are turning out to be more computerized.

The university program has automotive engineering systems at Lake Braddock Secondary School and a dozen other schools in the county: Annandale Significant School, Centreville High College, Chantilly Academy, Edison Academy, Fairfax Superior School, Falls Church Higher University, Hayfield Superior College, John R. Lewis Higher College, Marshall Academy, Robinson Secondary University, South County Significant School and South Lakes Significant College.

Together with the positive responses from present and previous pupils, the instructing type of Plum and Prakash is admired by their fellow academics at Lake Braddock.

Mark Khosravi, a geosystems teacher at Lake Braddock, advised FCPS communications that Plum and Prakash share “valuable capabilities and expertise they’ve gathered since higher school them selves.”

“When young ones see that enthusiasm in lecturers, they will also have that enthusiasm in the classroom,” Khosravi said.

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