Zackary McClain of Van Buren and Levi Moore of Subiaco, two students enrolled in the Western Arkansas Technical Center at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, scored the highest in the state on the written exam in the Ford AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.
Additionally, they placed third overall in the hands-on portion of the competition, which included students from 28 schools.
McClain is a senior at Van Buren High School, and Moore is a senior at Scranton High School.
Mark Lennon of Booneville, automotive instructor and adviser for the Ford AAA competitors, said the purpose of the competition is to help shape the future of the automotive industry and put students’ knowledge to the test.
“Zack and Levi are awesome students,” said Lennon. “This is the fifth consecutive year for UAFS to qualify for the state hands-on competition, and we did better this year than ever before. The boys worked very well together as a team and it showed in their performance.”
One perk to participating in the competition is that names of all contestants are submitted to Ford Motor Co. dealers, AAA Club Owned Fleets, AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and many other sponsoring organizations that have a need for auto service specialists. McClain and Moore also received automotive equipment, tools and tool boxes, polo shirts, hats, trophies, certificates and scholarships.
WATC director D. Chris Rink of Mansfield applauded the students and faculty for their efforts toward the event.
“The WATC staff and instructors are very proud of these two young men,” said Rink. “They are truly dedicated and did a great job of representing the University and WATC.”
The Western Arkansas Technical Center (WATC) at UAFS is an area secondary center serving a six-county area. WATC provides area high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school. In addition to automotive technology, programs are also offered in computer-aided drafting and design, criminal justice, early childhood education, electronics technology, engineering, graphic design, health sciences, information technology and welding technology.