Scarlett McCurnin in her Autotech class photo credit Mark Schultz

Since the founding of the Automotive Technology center, in 1972, at Hermitage Highschool, students have used the center to pursue their interest in automotive technology. One Godwin student did just that – and more.  

Senior Scarlett McCurnin became the first woman in history to pass all of the program’s tests this past Jan.

“I applied for this ACE center on a whim sophomore year, thinking it would be a good experience and maybe a college job. After joining this class and seeing the perks of having a job like this, I knew that I would like to work in the Automotive industry,” said McCurnin.

The AutoTech program offers 10 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) tests for students to take. These tests will help them in searching for future jobs, by giving them a certification that employers look for. 

“At our ACE Center, we are allowed to take 10 ASE tests, one of which is not ASE tests taken by normal technicians in the workforce. This single one is called Automobile Service Technology, [and] it is basically cumulative knowledge of Automobile Repair. In the workforce, A1-A8 [tests one through eight] are required to receive the Master Technician Certification,” said McCurnin.

Not all tests are required, however, many students choose to take all of them to expand their knowledge. 

Some take the tests in order to boost their chances of finding a job in a competitive field. Others choose to take all 10 tests for their own personal aspirations. 

“Personally, it was a sense of accomplishment because since day one of joining this class, our goal was to pass as many of these tests as possible. Realistically, when I go out to work, I can get paid a higher wage than my peers with nine or less,” said McCurnin. 

Due to the fact that McCurnin has passed all 10 tests, she will be able to find higher-paying jobs. She will also have the ability to earn the Master Technician Certification.

Depending on the student’s cumulative knowledge the difficulty of each test will defer from student to student. 

“The most difficult test for me was Engine Performance because it was mostly about emissions. There really isn’t a test that is the easiest or the hardest, it is just how much knowledge you know about the automotive service industry,” said McCurnin

She used many different studying skills and techniques to help her prepare for the tests. Studying for the tests was very time-consuming. 

“I studied whenever I had any free time, while I was eating, on my phone, and even at work sometimes. I did struggle to juggle all my activities, but in the end, it worked out,” said McCurnin. 

McCurnin hopes to go to the Toyota T-Ten Program after she is done with high school.

“I am waiting to hear back from the CBYX German Exchange program, and if I do that I will come back to the US in June of 2023, and I would like to get a job with Toyota and join the T-Ten Toyota program. It is a mastery program for Toyota. In the long run, I hope to become a Master Technician with Toyota,” said McCurnin.

McCurnin’s ambition isn’t just to pass all 10 tests, she wants to continue to expand her knowledge working in the field. 

“Passing all 10 of these tests was a competition against all of my peers. I proved myself on paper, but I still have a lot to learn hands-on in the industry,” said McCurnin. 

McCurnin shared her opinion on the difficulty and level of the Auto-Tech class. She believes that it is worth the hard work and that anyone who puts their mind to it will be successful. 

“I would tell them that there is a lot of hard work ahead of them, but there isn’t anything they cannot accomplish if they put their mind to it. This program is to learn the basics, to put your hands on tools and cars for the first time,” said McCurnin. 

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