Tom Varrone of Phoenix, Ariz. was named the 2010 Educator of the Year during the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) Conference held recently at Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford, Fla. Each year, Mitchell 1 recognizes one of the nation’s top teachers for excellence in automotive repair instruction. Varrone was presented with a check for $500 and a recognition certificate. He also receives a one year, complimentary subscription to Mitchell 1’s popular OnDemand5.com for the school that he teaches at. As featured in AfterMarketNews.com and SearchAutoParts.com.
“Mitchell 1 is proud to join with NACAT for another year to honor those who have demonstrated a commitment to educational excellence in the automotive repair industry,” said Karen Wagner, senior marketing manager for Mitchell 1. “Tom Varrone has an outstanding reputation as an instructor and we feel he is an outstanding choice for this award. Everyone at Mitchell 1 would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to Tom on his achievement.”
Varrone leads the BMW Service Technician Education Program (STEP) and the BMW FastTrack program at the Universal Technical Institute, Phoenix campus. He attended the Denver Institute of Technology and received a technician certificate in 1981. Prior to joining the faculty at the Universal Technical Institute, he worked as a factory trainer for the Service Technology Group for General Motors Corp. Varrone holds several certifications, including BMW Level I, Master Automotive ASE, Advanced Level Engine Performance ASE, Master Machinist ASE and Alternate Fuels Specialist ASE.
“I am humbled to receive such a great honor for something that I am fortunate to do each day, which is helping to develop young people into respected professionals,” said Varrone. “What I bring to the classroom is my passion for helping my students succeed. But ultimately, it’s not how much I know or the expertise I have. I judge my performance on how much the students learn and how well they use this knowledge to lead empowered lives.”
Varrone continued, “As educators, we have to stay focused and dedicated to our profession. By continuous education, you stay sharp and your students reap the benefits. I would like to thank Mitchell 1, NACAT and ASE for this award. Equally important, I would like to thank Universal Technical Institute and BMW of North America. There are many people at these two companies that believe in me, and words cannot express my appreciation for all they have done for me over the years.”
Selection criteria for the Educator of the Year award requires that a master automotive technician excel on all ASE automotive tests, including A1 – A8 (Engine Repair, Automatic Transmission/Transaxle, Manual Drive Train and Axles, Suspension and Steering, Brakes, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Heating and Air Conditioning, Engine Performance) and the L1 (Advanced Engine Performance Exam).