Tucson Students Claim State Title at Ford/AAA Competition

Students earn $35,000 in scholarships, advance to national finals

Phoenix, May 6, 2013. Two Tucson students from Marana High School earned the title of Arizona’s top high school auto technicians after winning the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills State Finals today. Led by their instructor Donald Zell, Evan Cloutier and Kevin Reich will go on to represent Arizona in the National Finals in June against other state finalists from across the country.

As the first-place team, Cloutier and Reich won scholarships valued at more than $35,000 each to automotive programs nationwide, including the Universal Technical Institute in Phoenix and the Ford ASSET program at Glendale Community College. The second-place team, Hung Dinh and Robert Wineinger from Flowing Wells High School were awarded more than $28,000 to automotive programs, while the third-place team, Heriberto Gutierrez and Michael Butler from Kofa High School each were awarded more than $17,000 to fund his automotive education.

“As an automotive resource, AAA recognizes the need to have qualified technicians to help maintain our ever-evolving cars,” said Don Nunnari, vice president of automotive services for AAA Arizona. “We’re honored to be a part of this competition, and give motivated students a chance to obtain the best technical training and a means to pay for it.”

The 2012 results of the competition are as follows:

Place

High School

City

Instructor

Students

1st

Marana

Tucson

Donald Zell

Evan Cloutier
Kevin Reich

2nd

Flowing Wells

Tucson

Jerrad McMurrich

Hung Dinh
Robert Wineinger

3rd

Kofa

Yuma

Norm Champagne

Heriberto Gutierrez
Michael Butler

4th

Sunrise Mountain

Peoria

Scott Hereder

Shawn Kurowski
Gabriel Yost

5th

Centennial

Peoria

Stephen Maish

Shawn Brown
Richard Krajewski

6th

Prescott

Prescott

Mickey Chaney

Raymond Federwisch
Chase Beazer

7th

East Valley Institute of Technology

Mesa

Randy Golding

Brighton Hornbaker
Thomas Reeves

8th

Safford

Safford

Edward Taylor

Keith Vigus
Daniel Ward

9th

Pueblo

Tucson

Seth Levy

Lucas Montano-Kowaleski

 

Jose Guerrero

10th

Gilbert

Gilbert

Jonathan Strait

David Lehrer
Corey Hermann

 

Cloutier and Reich and their instructor will travel to Dearborn, Mich., to compete in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals from June 9 to 12 on the front lawn of Ford World Headquarters. At the National Finals, Cloutier and Reich will compete for additional scholarship money to help kick-start their automotive careers.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills nationwide automotive technology competition offers nearly $12 million in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians. More than 10,000 students from across the nation compete for the chance to represent their school and state as part of a two-person team in the National Finals on the front lawn of Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.