NCT Auto Program named finalist in national contest

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Brooksville - Tomorrow's Technician announced Nature Coast Technical High School's automotive department has been selected as one of the top 20 finalists in the Tomorrow's Tech 2022 School of the Year, sponsored by WIX Filters and O'Reilly Autoparts.

"This is tremendous honor for the program and reflects the commitment of our students and community partners," said Barry Beyerl, NCT automotive program instructor. This is the automotive department's second nomination in five years; in 2019, Nature Coast Tech was named a finalist in the national competition. Tomorrow's Technician is a magazine and website that provides printed and video resources on servicing vehicles for automotive students at vocational and technical schools.

What makes NCT's auto department stand out is that offers more than what goes on the classroom, often utilizing other "teaching tools" by bringing in a variety of guest instructors each year. These instructors include industry representatives, such as Tulsa Welding School and United Parcel Service. But they also bring in representatives of other industries, such as trauma nurse from Bayonet Point Hospital, who will be visiting soon. "We always try to offer things in the classroom that aren't always auto-related," Beyerl said.

Although nominations are open to anyone (thousands are received by parents, students and teachers), it is the nominations made by businesses that stand out to the judges. "What business partners have to say is what's most important," said Beyerl. "We have so much support in the community. Our business partners are the backbone of this program."

Since the nomination, the department has been working on a video that showcases the school, instructors and students. Once all submissions are received by the Oct. 7 deadline, the judges will narrow down the picks to the Top 4 (a top school from each of the four regions in the country), then with the School of the Year winner chosen from that Top 4 list.