Marana Substantial University automotive technology teacher Chris Citro likes to give learners fingers-on options. He operates with these who want to improve their knowledge or go after occupations in the sector.

A Santa Rita Large School graduate, Citro was a single of nine finalists in the College of Arizona’s Astounding Teacher of the 12 months competitiveness. The winner was announced as Marian Johnson from Amphitheater Superior College on Feb. 17. 

“I was nominated by my administration listed here at Marana Significant School,” Citro reported. 

“Just to be believed of, to be nominated, was a definitely fantastic sensation. I was extremely surprised…There’s so quite a few academics on our campus. To be the one that they thought of is a definitely terrific sensation.”  

As element of the opposition, Citro attended and was acknowledged through a UA basketball activity. 

Citro has helped to make the automotive program at Marana Superior, where he has worked for 11 decades. Prior to that, he worked at Canyon del Oro Superior School. 

He mentioned for him, it doesn’t sense like function. 

“I like what I do. I’m 1 of the blessed ones. I truly like what I do,” Citro stated. 

He gets a thrill out of viewing his students’ progress.

“It’s really gratifying to see a kid when they are ready to correct their personal car or truck, function on a little something or appear in the subsequent working day and be like, ‘We experienced a leak in our plumbing, and I was equipped to take care of it,’” Citro reported.

Scholar good results

A few learners from Marana Substantial not long ago took component in the SkillsUSA Regionals at Canyon Del Oro Large School on Feb. 11. Two of the students certified for state soon after scoring in the leading 10%. 

College students are also carrying out the Prime Tech Challenge, which has arms-on and created parts, at the Universal Complex Institute on Saturday, March 4. 

As part of the hands-on timed portion, learners finish stations targeted on areas this sort of as brake measurements, electrical troubleshooting, diagnosis of a vehicle applying a scanning software and parts identification. 

Marana Large groups have occur in initial spot about 5 occasions about the yrs. They took third location in 2022. 

Via the automotive application, college students operate on cars and trucks for the general public and lecturers at a minimal cost. 

The plan does most of its fundraising for the calendar year as a result of an yearly motor vehicle show, which past yr boasted 130 vehicles. 

The method used some of people proceeds to purchase presents for neighborhood young children through the holidays. They also test to assist nearby charities, these as the Raymond Dixon Foundation and Unique Olympics Marana. 

About 1-3rd of Citro’s learners conclusion up doing the job in the automotive marketplace. An additional third go into the armed forces, exactly where several of them work on navy autos or planes.  

“We are not here to make absolutely everyone a technician, but if that’s what they want to do, we have the avenues to assist them with that,” Citro stated. 

Some college students are performing in the automotive market while in significant school. Some others just want to find out about keeping their cars.

“They just want to understand the fundamental principles of their auto,” he reported. “We address all those sorts of factors, and the future factor they know, I have them pulling an automatic transmission out of a front-wheel drive car or truck. They feel it is the coolest point underneath the sun.”

Citro organizes the AZ Significant University Pit Crew Obstacle and delivers teams to it. This year’s is established for Saturday, Oct. 14, at Tucson Dragway. Previous calendar year, groups from Marana Superior took initially and fifth put in the level of competition. The top eight groups go to the semifinals, and the leading 4 advance to the finals. 

“By the time we have accomplished this for the third time that day, they’re incredibly rapidly,” Citro mentioned. 

Groups have a prospect to acquire cash and goods donated by enterprises and persons. Final yr, there were $4,500 in prizes and resources. This is Citro’s fifth 12 months organizing the 30-year-outdated level of competition. 

He mentioned it is crucial that the function proceeds. The timed level of competition provides in groups from all-around Arizona. They’re tested on skills these types of as modifying oil, rotating tires and determining particular pieces. 

They also substitute spark plugs, distributor caps and oil filters.

“All of the spark plug wires ought to be in the right firing purchase, and every little thing should be restricted. The wheels are torqued to a sure specification. Nearly anything left loose, anything out of get, just about anything not carried out, you would receive a demerit,” Citro mentioned.

“That would incorporate to your time. Their biggest opposition is the clock. It’s not even the group upcoming to them. It is a issue of how speedily they can get it finished without any demerits.”

Past yr, just limited of 100 learners took element in the contest. If groups present up with 3 or four college students, they can get pupils from other educational institutions to sub for them. 

Citro explained the contest promotes difficulty resolving and teamwork. 

“To get the students to learn to do the job alongside one another and get the job done, it is a really neat factor,” he mentioned. 

Whilst the contest is aggressive, it is intended to be pleasurable. The instructors have a equivalent goal of finding learners interested in the automotive sector and encouraging them to master. 

Citro reported his school’s teams commence training for this competition in May. They start off ramping up again when they appear back again to faculty in August. 

“We exercise like we’re the soccer team. We exercise twice a week, normally about two several hours a working day, all the way up to the levels of competition,” he said. 

As a result of the plan, teenagers have a probability to drag race safely and securely in opposition to others with an curiosity in the sport. 

The large school division for 16- to 18-year-olds and junior avenue division for 13-to 16-year-olds commenced on Feb. 11 and 12. 

In the junior avenue classification, 13- to 15-12 months-previous teens can push their family’s motor vehicle but only on the track. They should go via a licensing method via the Nationwide Scorching Rod Affiliation. 

“They get to race a serious car. The mum or dad is driving with them, so there is surely supervision. It’s quite aggressive,” Citro mentioned.

By Tara