A Peterborough high school’s auto repair class inspires students to enter the industry

By Elizabeth Sargeant 

Toronto, Ontario — June 13, 2019 — Teacher Robert Flindall has been preparing students for the automotive industry for more than 18 years. Adam Scott CVI, a high school in Peterborough Ont. has been running auto classes for 60 years, Flindall leading them for a third of its time.

Having a classroom filled with students and a budding interest in auto mechanics, restoration and repair, sparks fly when you enter Room 117.

But it’s not only the sparks coming from the grinder as students learn to weld and cut metal but between the students and what they love doing — auto repair.

“I take auto because I enjoy working on cars, I like anything that has to do with engines and welding,” Grade 11 student Noah Hall told Collision Repair. “I got to do welding at an auto shop, and now I get to do it in this class. It’s just what I love.”

Auto mechanics is just a stepping stone for some.

“I’d like to expand into collision repair,” said Hall. “I got a car that I need to do some stuff on too.”

Cars fill the auto shop. Whether they belong to the teachers of the school or were donated for students to practice on.

Some students aren’t only practicing for good grades, but for the yearly competition that Flindall prepares two of his talented tradespeople for.

“We’ve competed in the Toronto District Automobile Association Competition,” Flindall says. “I enter every year. I take two students up to Toronto…we do the competition that day. We’re one of the only ones from Peterborough that goes.”

This year, Flindall took two star students, Thaddeus Vidler, and Alex Kellar to the competition, and the boys represented Adam Scott well as they made it into the top 10.

“It was a lot of fun but it was also very challenging,” says Alex Kellar. Flindall added that there are a lot of very skilled students that attend each year.

Not only is Flindall proud of the success of the students in his auto class, but the representation of young women.

“We have three girls in the class and I think that’s really important. I never want [female students] to feel intimidated. They’re very, very, capable.”

One student, Kalynn Delong, who is just finishing the 11th grade entered the class to gain more knowledge, but is now inspired by what she’s learned.

“I took this class because I wanted to get more common knowledge but I realized that I really liked it and now I’m thinking about doing it after high school,” Delong said.

When it comes to the importance of teaching everyone auto skills, Flindall’s auto class is the best place to start.

“I like the idea of trying to pass on some of my knowledge to the younger generation,” Flindall said. “A lot of students are here to get skills that they won’t in any other parts of the school.”

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