Kale Cotner, a senior at Lighthouse High School, won first place in the high school division of a diesel mechanics skills competition held at USU/CEU. He also placed second in the overall competition. His college instructor is Dean Collard.
This competition was actually a preliminary contest that will allow Kale and four other participants to attend a state diesel mechanics competition that will be held in Salt Lake City on March 24 and 25. Carbon High School student Coltin Fryer also qualified to attend as well as CEU students Colten Miller (First Place), Joshua Call, and Royce Campbell.
Kale explained the competition process. "We were required to go through a series of stations where we had to explain or demonstrate our understanding of diesel engines. For example, there was an air board and we had to discuss brakes and valves and how that worked."
Instructor Collard describes Kale as "a hard worker who's fun to work with."
Kale thinks this whole process comes naturally to him. "My brother actually took this course first, and he really enjoyed it. Trucks are in our family. My dad owns diesel semis and hauls chemical in the winter and freight in the summer. So, it kind of comes naturally."
This program at USU/CEU has been successful for students. Instructor Dean Collard explained, "We can boast a 99 percent placement rate in this program. There is much demand in the workplace for these kinds of skills."
Cotner credits the Lighthouse faculty and staff for a good educational experience. "Everyone here is very nice and committed to students." With just four more college classes, Kale can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from USU/CEU.