Auto Tech Program Gives Students Great Kick Off

by : Zeke Gervis

The automotive technology program of the South Brunswick High School offers great kick off for students aiming to be in the automotive industry. Run by teacher Michael Andrusiewicz, the program encompasses Auto I, Auto II and Auto III. It runs for three years and students have found alternatives to take all three classes while remaining involved through their senior years.

Here, the students are taught to build and rebuild automobiles and their parts like .

Anthony Provenzano, a senior, had been taking auto shop since he was a freshman and did an independent study with auto shop for his senior year.

Brian Korodan, another senior, took one auto class every year. And now, for his independent study, he is helping the Auto III class do a job on a '64 Pontiac Valiant.
In his entire high school career, Senior Chris Calefati has been taking the auto classes and also opted to do an independent study this year where he chose his own projects. In the beginning of his senior year, he along with other students did an independent study that rebuilt a motorcycle. Then they rebuilt the motor that will be placed on one of the cars they are working on. Toward the end of the year, they started putting the parts of one of the cars back together.

After Anthony and Brian graduated from SBHS, they will both be attending Universal Technical Institute. But Anthony will go to Exton, Pa., while Brian will go to Orlando, Fla. - two different campuses.

Anthony said that one guy went to their house and showed them the program from UTI which he and his parents have been looking for. He further said that he wanted to learn more so he went at the UTI to enroll at the marine school. But he suddenly liked the car school so that was where he got into. Anthony said that the school helps in looking for a job which is very attracting to would be students.

Both Anthony and Brian grew up watching their fathers do vehicular works. Anthony's dad even drove a taxi that he repaired on his own while Brian's dad owns a garage where he often works.

According to Anthony, when he was a kid, he had 13 bicycles which he was tearing apart and putting back together. He bought his maiden car when he was 14 and began putting it together. He said having his first car was pretty exciting since he used to always work on his sister's Geo and now he could mess with his own vehicle.
The automotive business of Brains' dad was the teen's first stepping stone toward the business. But it was the auto classes at SBHS that really caught him.

Brain said that he took the class because he needed an elective subject so he decided to have one with his football coach, Mr. (Philip) Ricci. But then suddenly, he liked the subject so he stuck with it.

Meanwhile, Chris will be attending engineering at Rutgers University. His first exposure to vehicle repairs was doing his neighbors' vehicles. His passion for designing car was discovered in his classes at the SBHS.

Chris said that while he was hanging out with his classmates, he was helping them at the same time. He added that the more he is involved, the more his interest arises. He took the classes because he just wanted to work on his car so he does not have to pay for a mechanic. But he said that the more he took the classes, the more he got interested with it. As a matter of fact, he already started to customize his own car.

Taking the auto classes at SBHS, the seniors adhere that these were beneficial to the paths of their chosen careers as well as to the common knowledge they have acquired.

Anthony said that just a few years ago, his dad would not even want to touch his car because of the fear that his teen might destroy something else on it. But now, his dad tells him to fix it whenever it does not work accordingly.

Chris added that one should at least know the basics of car repairs such as fixing a flat tire or changing an air filter or wiper blades because all cars are subject to breakdown.

Tony Bertucci, a former student who graduated from SBHS last year and is currently attending the UTI campus in Exton, can testify to the quality of the school's auto shop classes. He said in his present school, he is ahead of everybody. Because he was so overwhelmed by the quality of teaching in SBHS, he could not even explain how much the auto classes at the high school helped him. He added that he never got lower than an A in his auto classes.

Through UTI, Tony already has a job and he was very grateful to give Mr. Andrusiewicz much of the credit for his success. Tony added that Mr. A had been his close friend since he was a freshman. He further said he always got into trouble and Mr. A was there to straighten him out.

Other students also believe that Mr. Andrusiewicz is the very reason why the auto program has been such a huge success. According to Chris, Mr. A teaches well that he makes sure everyone has the chance to learn everything. Brian said Mr. A always guided him in the right path and helped him make the right decision.

Above all, the automotive students feel very fortunate that they have been given the chance that other students do not get.

The former students are encouraging the teens to take the program as it is really beneficial to their future.