AUSD Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Automotive Technicians Award Program

Last month, AUSD held its 50th Anniversary Automotive Technicians Awards Night, honoring this year’s outstanding students and instructors while also celebrating all those who have supported the program over the years. This event, held at Almansor Court, was a rare chance for all students, parents, teachers, administrators and sponsors to gather together and celebrate the success of the automotive program.


Brad Walsh, Director of Secondary Education, kicked off the event with an introductory speech, thanking those in attendance and introducing all member of AUSD’s Executive Cabinet, board members, students, parents and Career Ed. Specialist Judy Huffaker, who spoke about the recent endeavors of the automotive program including the including the Ford Ranchero Project and The Underdog Project. Sun Kang, an actor who played a prominent role in the Fast and Furious series, was also introduced for his role in the success of the aforementioned Underdog Project, which involved Kang and a group of Alhambra High School Technicians rebuilding a 1972 Ford Maverick, which was then auctioned off at this year’s SEMA Show. Kang took the stage and spoke about his love for the automotive industry and his dedication to helping the younger generations of technicians thrive in the industry.


Also in attendance was SEMA President Chris Kersting, who also served as one of the event’s prominent guest speakers and is a supporter of AUSD’s Automotive Technicians Program. Kersting spoke about the history of SEMA and demonstrated what role the company has in the automotive industry in an informative video. He also explained to students the many career opportunities that his company offers and reminded them that persistency and a relentless work ethic is the key to success in the in the industry.


It was then time for dinner to be served and awards to be given out. First, Mark Keppel’s James Horton, Alhambra’s Victor Quiroz and San Gabriel’s Bruce Pardee received special instructor’s recognition awards for their leadership and dedication to the program. Each automotive student was then given automotive certificates of achievement certificates and the program’s sponsors also gave out various awards. Finally, it was time to present the Outstanding Student Awards, honoring one student from each high school who exemplified superior skills and work ethic. The winners are as follows: Alhambra High School-Xiao Pan, San Gabriel High School-Alvaro Daniel Magana Miranda, and Mark Keppel high School-Fernando Sanchez-Palafox. Each winner received a certificate, trophy and a $500 check presented by K&N Engineering. Each winner also made a brief statement, thanking their teachers for giving them the tools to excel.


AUSD would like to thank all the sponsors who made this night possible including Gilbert Motor Service, K&N E engineering, Citrus College, Pasadena City College, SEMA, UTI, Wondries Toyota, SEMCO and individuals who have contributed their time and effort to the success of the Automotive Technician Program.