Student on right road to success in automotive class

By WEEK Producer

November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM CDT

LIMESTONE, Il. -- Limestone High School automotive students have a reason to rev up their engines.

Thomas Wester knows what he's talking about when it comes to cars.
He's the automotive teacher at Limestone Community High School.

Mr. Wester is helping prepare his students for the auto world, whether that's working on vehicles for others or for themselves.

"I always like to tell them, at the very minimum, you know you're not going to get ripped off when you bring your car to a shop," said Thomas Wester.

Students, like junior Tanner Haller, have learned a trunk load of lessons, from changing tires and batteries to putting an engine together, skills not many local students get the chance to learn in high school.

"I'm grateful that Limestone has it. It has just given me an opportunity to grow. I mean, I didn't know very much when I came here my freshman year, and now I can actually hold my own when I'm working on my car," said Junior Tanner Haller.

Junior Cody Farris plans to kick his autoshop education into high gear.

"We're taking basically college level courses now, because he's teaching us that they're going to be teaching in college. So, it's to help me know what I'm going to be learning in college. I'm going to be a step ahead of all the other people," said Junior Cody Farris.

Mr. Wester is trying to get the program college-certified but says it takes a lot of work, and funding, to keep up with national guidelines.

"The industry's constantly changing, so we're always needing improvements in order to keep the program alive and acceptable to the standards we follow," said Wester.

The same standards that potential employers have their eyes on too.

"I have people come to me all the time, asking me, 'Do you have any students that's going to be graduating soon? Is there anybody that I can start looking at now for a future employee?" said Wester.

Mr. Wester says the One Class at A Time grant will help keep these students on the right track.