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Georgetown Student Ranks Ninth Nationally for his Automotive Skills
When Georgetown High School alum, Alec Spencer, decided to take an Automotive Technology class, he assumed it would just be a fun hobby and a good filler for his schedule. As a freshman in JROTC, Spencer had every intention of going into the military and following the footsteps of his family members. It only took a couple of weeks in Automotive Tech for Spencer to have a change of heart. With a newly discovered love for automotive work, Spencer realized that he had to pursue it.
“Automotive work had become my main focus. It changed what I wanted to do as a career,” Spencer said.
This passion for automotive work led Alec to participate in the skillsUSA Motorcycle Service Technology competition this year, where students’ skills are put to the test by performing tasks that they would be faced with in a dealership’s service department. Spencer proved that he is equipped with the skills to tackle these tasks, placing ninth at Nationals, with a final score of 586. Spencer achieved great success at the competition, but it was not without several hardships.
“Adjusting to the virtual competition was probably the biggest challenge. As far as the actual work goes, the biggest challenge this year was for sure the front fork rebuild. It was an entirely new skill I had to learn,” Spencer said.
Automotive work was not something new to Spencer when he started high school. When he was young, he spent a lot of time with his father, who owned a motorcycle shop where he would restore and collect vintage motorcycles. Spencer had his first one-on-one experience with automotive work in eighth grade when he fixed up a broken dirt bike that had been lying around.
“I decided to tear it apart and figure out what went wrong, and it was fixed by the next day”, Spencer said.
Spencer’s interest in automotive work continued to grow throughout his four years in the program under the guidance of teachers Greg Wall and Kelley Mayo. Wall and Mayo have dedicated many years to helping students flourish in the school district.
“They have both been critical in my education and have always pushed me to do better. They weren’t just teachers, they were mentors,” Spencer said, “They’re the kind of people who, if you ask them a question, they’ve got a good answer, whether it’s about cars or anything else.”
Spencer’s success has set him up for a bright future in the field. He will attend the Universal Tech Institute (UTI) - Houston in August. Spencer will enroll in the Heavy Diesel Service Program and the Cummins Diesel Program, the latter of which usually requires students to already be in college. However, due to Spencer’s advanced skills, he is going directly into the program. After he completes his certification he hopes to return to Georgetown to work at the Holt Caterpillar Dealership.
Spencer has received scholarships from UTI and local organizations, totalling up to $22,000 in funds. Wall awarded Spencer with the Jessie B. Lozano scholarship, worth $1000, for being the most outstanding student. Wall described Spencer as, “a knowledgeable, hardworking self-starter”. Every year, the scholarship is given to a senior Auto Tech student who demonstrates ambition, drive, respect, and moral character, all of which Wall saw in Spencer.
Spencer is grateful for the opportunities he had through career and technology education in Georgetown ISD. In addition to Automotive Tech, he also participated in Welding and Floral Design classes.
“You never quite know what you want to do in life; it always changes,” Spencer said and has advice to share with future students. “[In public school,] you’re given access to these programs for free, so take advantage of any opportunities. Give it a try and you might just find a new interest or even a career option.”
We are GISD Proud of Alec and his national status. Great things are happening in GISD!
feature story by Logan Reuland