GCI Student of the Year awarded to senior Sarah Wenz

PHOTO Sarah Wenz

Sydney Bommersbach, Online Editor

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Watching over her father’s shoulder throughout the years, senior Sarah Wenz eventually began helping him work on his cars. Discovering that she really enjoyed this, Wenz enrolled in the Automotive Technology program at Genesee Career Institute (GCI), but never expected she would be named Student of the Year for Fenton High.

“I was very surprised when I found out that I had been named the Student of the Year,” Wenz said. “I thought that I had been called down to the office because something bad had happened, so I was incredibly relieved and equally surprised to hear I had won.”

Wenz was chosen to represent Fenton Schools at an awards luncheon. The event is to honor students who have gone above the standard in their programs; they are nominated by their GCI instructors.

“Early on in the year, I quickly found that she was someone I could depend on,” Automotive Instructor James Loomis said. “Sarah is always willing to help and is nearly always focused on getting right to the lesson. She also showed a great desire to learn and is not shy about coming to me for answers and direction.”

PHOTO Sarah Wenz
Senior Sarah Wenz removes the tire from a car in her GCI Automobile Technology program.

After being nominated by an instructor, the Fenton High office staff, including Assistant Principal Laura Lemke, makes the final selection to decide the winner.

“Grades, attendance and behavior are looked at as part of the selection process,” Lemke said. “However, we also try to identify a student for whom the introduction into Career & Technical Education (CTE) has made a significant change or improvement in his or her life.”

On a daily basis, there schedule for the Automotive Technology program is always changing. The class works on cars brought in by other students.

“On a typical day we start with any announcements,” Wenz said. “Other than that, there is no set projects that we do in a day unless a student notifies our teacher beforehand; we do whatever needs to be done. We’ve done everything from oil changes to wheel alignments to frame swaps.”

Wenz plans to take a gap year next year in order to work and pay for college herself. She then hopes to go through the automotive technology program at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor or at the University of Northwestern Ohio.