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Fauquier High auto tech students clean house at state meet

Monday, Apr. 21 | By Hannah Dellinger
Fauquier High School’s Automotive Technology students have been on a roll lately.

Kyle Pinelli, a junior at Kettle Run High School who takes auto tech at FHS, won first place and a $10,000 scholarship at a state level SkillsUSA Motorcycle Service competition. He will go onto the national competition in Kansas in June. Pinelli and his classmate Blake Lerner, a senior at Liberty High School, both qualified to compete in a state-level Ford AAA Auto Skills contest in May.

FHS automotive technology instructor Scott Freeman says that his student’s success comes with a lot of effort and hard work.

“I just teach them the benefit of hard work,” said Freeman.

Freeman says that he only enters competitions based on the needs of the students. They compete in order to obtain scholarships, or sometimes to boost self-esteem.

“I’m proud of all of my kids regardless if they win a competition or not,” said Freeman. “They all go on to be pretty successful in their careers.”
Pinelli said that qualifying to the Ford AAA competition wasn’t easy.
“We came in after school a lot and worked with Mr. Freeman,” he said. “He would put bugs in cars and we had to figure out the problem and fix it. We took a lot of tests and it was a lot of studying.”
Pinelli and Lerner took a long in-depth written test in order to qualify. The actual competition will involve fixing a bugged 2014 Ford Fiesta.
“It is a hands-on competition,” said Lerner. “There will be 10 schools from Virginia competing to go to the national level.”
The two students agree that Freeman’s teaching style has been a huge asset to their learning goals.

“I recommend Mr. Freemen’s class to anyone that wants to go into this field,” said Lerner. “He’ll put it to you straight.
Pinelli added that Freeman’s class can be tough, but engaging.

“He’s a hard teacher, but he’s a good teacher,” said Pinelli.
Kyle Pinelli working on a motorcycle at the Skills USA state competition.
Courtesy Photo

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