The School District of Philadelphia
440 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Press Contact: Felicia D. Ward - (215) 400-6355

April 18, 2008
#048-08

West Philadelphia High School's Automotive and Technology Academy Receives National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Certification

Philadelphia -- The School District of Philadelphia officials today announced West Philadelphia High School's Automotive and Technology Academy will host a celebration to commemorate their achievement of becoming the first automotive program in the history of District, and the forty-seventh secondary high school in the nation to obtain the prestigious National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Training Certification on Friday, April 18, 2008 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at District headquarters, 440 N. Broad St.

"We are very proud and honored to have West Philadelphia High School's Automotive and Technology Academy be the recipient of such a coveted certification from NATEF that will enable our students the ability to pursue future vocations within a variety of automotive industries," said Sandra Dungee Glenn, Chairwoman, School Reform Commission. Glenn goes on to say, "We've always known that the West Philadelphia High School's Automotive Academy students were capable of achieving greatness, after being declared twop>The festivities kicked-off with antique car exhibit that paraded along Buttonwood and Broad Streets to the School District of Philadelphia's Education Center, 440 N. Broad St. The celebration continued inside with student performances by the Simon Gratz High School Jazz Band and West Philadelphia High School Gospel Choir.

Opening remarks were made by school senior administrators, including Heidi A. Ramirez, Ph. D, Commissioner, School Reform Commission; Tom Brady, Interim Chief Executive Officer, School District of Philadelphia; and Claudia Averette, Chief of Staff, School District of Philadelphia

The celebration also featured a host of guest speakers from area automotive industry representatives, including guest speakers including Mary Lynn Alvarino, Director of Operations, Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP); Jim Sinclair, Vice President, Service, Subaru of America, Chairman of Philadelphia Citywide Automotive Advisory Board; and John Elliot, Sales Development Manager, Matco Tools.

The event culminated with an official presentation of a plaque by Lawrence Brinkley to the West Philadelphia Automotive Academy.

The School District of Philadelphia currently has automotive programs at five high schools, including Alvin Swenson Arts & Technology High School, A. Phillip Randolph Career Academy, Thomas Edison High School, West Philadelphia High School, and Jules Mastbaum AVTS High School. A total number of 360 of students participate in the District's automotive schools.

Most recently, on February 28, 2008, American Suzuki Motor Corporation representatives donated one dozen vehicles, valued at $128,000 to all of the District's automotive high school programs. American Suzuki Motor Corporation will present the School District of Philadelphia's automotive programs with five different vehicle models, including the Aerio, Forenza, Verona, Grand Vitara, and XL-7. The vehicles range in model year from 2003-2006.

In addition, the award-winning West Philadelphia High School Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering won their second consecutive championship title in the Tour de Sol, the nation's oldest and most prestigious competition for alternative fuel vehicles on Sunday, May 14, 2006 in Saratoga Springs, NY.