Rosedale Tech Automotive Instructors and Former Students Celebrate 25 Year Anniversary

Apr 11 2018

Many of Rosedale Tech’s instructors are proud RTC alumni.  After graduating from their respective programs, they worked in the field and decided to return to share their knowledge with future technicians, some of which went on to follow the same path and came back to teach.  As a matter of fact, did you know that almost all of our automotive technology instructors are Rosedale Tech graduates?

Recently, three of these instructors celebrated the 25-year anniversary from when they graduated in 1993:  Chuck Bevington, Paul Danner and Kevin Reed.  We asked the three of them to look back on their time as Rosedale Tech students.  Here are their stories:

Can you explain to me what it was like being a student at Rosedale in 1992-93 (i.e. building, labs, class sizes, class projects, etc.)?

CB:  Being a student at Rosedale back in 92 -93 was different.  The building was in bad shape – an old milk factory with milk dripping from the pipes.  The senior staff didn’t interact with students.  Mr. Chosky was never seen unless it was for a major issue.  The lab was kind of what you bring in or the instructor brought in. We had school cars but we couldn’t touch them.

KR:  Buildings needed repaired.   The old building should have been torn down when we went there – it was bad.  We lost cars in the potholes in the parking lot.

PD:  It was awesome, some theory time, then we would go to shop. I learned right away that I needed to provide my own work related to the class. My 77 Dodge Powerwagon received work in every class! It was really cool. Class sizes were similar to what they are now.  I rebuilt a bunch of carburetors in “carb and elec” class – that was fun.

Describe to me the type of student you were (be honest!). Were you the bully?  The bookworm?  The slacker?

CB:  I was just out of the Military and disciplined. But I also had three jobs and a two-year-old daughter so I wasn’t great in my attendance.

KR:  I had to work hard to put myself through school, I had an hour drive in one-way then.  So I wasn’t a book worm but I didn’t slack either.  I did my work and learned what I could.

PD:  I had higher grades than anyone in my electrical and engine performance classes. I seriously was never this guy in high school. Something clicked in me here at Rosedale Tech and my electrical classes.

I was this long-haired, no direction pot head kicking some a** at school for the first time in my life. 🙂

Do you have any memorable moments that you can remember from your days as a student?

CB:  The instructors cutting up a Grand National.  I was told it was so students wouldn’t take parts off it.  It actually cost me a job. The dealer who donated it asked me about it in an interview, and he threw me out when I told him what happened to it.

KR:  Of course we remember moments from those days.  I’d say when students wrecked my instructor’s car was a good one.

Who was your favorite instructor? Did they have a special quote or saying?

CB:  All my instructors were good. It’s hard to say I liked one more than the other. Harry Lynn was a person I connected with on a mentor type.  Dan Svitko was the young gun and fun.  Dave Barr was always cranky and sarcastic, but funny as hell. Art Peterson was so smart he was nuts (LOL). Gary Metz was a vet and had some quotes that can’t be repeated.

KR:  My favorite instructor was Art Peterson.  He was funny, but very smart.  He also had a photo gallery that was interesting.

PD:  Duh, Dan Svitko.  He was talking about orifice tubes in an AC system for like two days when a student in class asked “what’s an orifice” and he gave him an answer that I can’t repeat in print.  I’ll never forget it.

Seriously, this man changed the entire direction of my life.  He introduced me to the life of computer controls on cars!  He expected a lot from me.  He showed me without even words that I could do this and always took the time to answer my questions.  He gave me the tools, he poured a foundation for me that my home has been built on ever since.  I am just forever grateful.

What was your first job after leaving Rosedale Tech?

CB:  My first job was at a GMC dealership. Friend GMC in Bridgewater, PA.

KR:  My first job was at Biondi Mitsubishi.

PD:   I worked for a brand new, just opened, independent garage near my home. I was there for three years and worked hourly. I was the only tech for a year until they hired my older brother. Then we worked together for the next two years.

When you were in high school, did you know that you wanted to be an automotive technician?

KR:  In high school, mechanics came easy to me. I worked on a lot of motorcycles then. It just seemed to be the next step.

PD:  Heck no! I just followed my older brother to RTC because I had to do something.

Did you think you’d ever become an instructor?

CB:   I never thought I would be an instructor until 20 years after graduation.

KR:  I never thought I would be an instructor.  I hated getting in front of people for anything. But now I enjoy what I do.

PD:  Yes, I always wanted to teach since my first day in the field. 

Now that you are an instructor, is there anything that you regret saying/doing to your instructors when you were a student? Has a student done something/said something to you that you had done when you were a Rosedale Tech student?

CB:   I wish I had been in class more.  I see young students not in class, and I know how hard it is to learn what you miss on your own.

KR:  I do regret not giving them as much of a hard time as I should have.  They sure had fun at our expense.

PD:  I was always respectful of my teachers.

Do you guys remember being classmates together? What did you think of the other two?

CB:  I don’t remember Kevin. This will surprise Paul, because I do remember him (It’s been a running joke to say I didn’t). Paul kind of stood out for things other than his academics. 🙂

KR:  I did not know the other two.

PD:  No, I did not know them while attending Rosedale Tech. We probably weren’t part of the same crowd. LOL!

Looking back, are you happy with your decision to pursue a career in the trades?

CB:  YES! I tell everyone it was the best thing for me. I have not been unemployed one day since graduating.

KR:  Looking back I made the right decision   I have a good career and enjoy what I do.  Not a lot of people can say that.

PD:  No, I hate this field (JK!)