OATC auto program helps teens

Students in Auto Body are taking old paint and rust off the an old Wrangler in order to re-paint.

Kayla Balcom, Reporter

Auto collision courses are among the programs offered at the school district’s Olathe Advanced Technical Center (OATC).

Auto collision is a two-year long program available for juniors and seniors.

Students in the program spend three hours a day at OATC in the morning or afternoon.

“Your first year in the program, you do a bit of everything. In your second year, you can choose whether you want to do more body work or painting,” Kyle Kucharski, senior,  said.

Students aren’t always doing the same thing when they go to class, either.

“Every day is different. We’re working on an old Trans Am right now,” Auston Harder, junior, said.

Cars come to the program from many different places, including being donated.

Some cars students have worked on include the Trans Am, an old Camaro, and even their own vehicles.

“We can bring in our cars if we get done with current projects,” Kucharski said.

The class helps interpersonal skills and leadership, as well.

“Since I’ve been in the class for two years, usually I help direct other students,” Bryce Hayter, senior, said.

Though the program can be used to help those looking to go into the car industry, that’s not all it can be used for.

“Mostly, working on cars is just a hobby,” Kucharski said.

Students like Hayter and Harder plan on using their experience in the program to go to college or as a career.

“I want to go on to tech school and become a mechanic,” Harder said.

Hayter also wants to go into the industry and use the program to get a job.