I’ve learned that there are no true rules to teach and there are many ways for students to learn.”

Andrice Tucker has run the automotive program at Central Nine Career Center for the entirety of his teaching career. As a graduate of the center himself, he credits the program with teaching him discipline, punctuality and responsibility as well as the art of the trade. After graduating and obtaining nine ASE certifications as well as his associates degree in Automotive Technology, Tucker worked for 14 years in the automotive industry at Firestone Complete Auto Care. As he progressed through the ranks from general service tech to lead technician, he also trained new techs in the shop. During this process, he noticed a particular lack of prior training and realized he wanted to teach technicians of the future how to be successful in the industry.

Tucker uses a mix of educational and industry experience in his classroom to create a well-rounded learning environment.  With an emphasis on unconventional and collaborative learning, classes begin with a theory-based discussion drawn from the ASE NATEF curriculum before students move to hands-on lab activities. He also breaks his classes into teams that stick together for the full school year. Students complete challenges together like they would as employees, building communication skills and working through diagnostic and repair assignments on the 26 vehicles that have been donated to the program. These experiences prepare Tucker’s students for a variety of internships available with partnered dealerships, independent shops, and local retail facilities.

In addition to learning the trade, Tucker is proud that most of the students who leave his program would say they became better and more responsible people. As much as he loves seeing kids grow in confidence as they earn dual credit hours and certifications in his class, he enjoys knowing that they are fully prepared for all facets of the working world. He has heard from several managers and contacts over the years about how his graduates have flourished in auto shops, post-secondary programs, and dealerships alike.

Tucker was previously a finalist for the 2018 and 2020 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.

“I feel that our country forgets that we will need these students working in skilled trades more and more over the next century. Innovation isn’t just for 4-year students with bachelor’s or master’s degrees, they require technicians to maintain and fix technology, as well, as we move forward.”