Thanks to the current economic issues many schools are facing funding cuts, which result in the loss of wood shop, metal shop or auto shop programs. Fortunately for students at Sahuarita High School, auto shop has managed to survive the budget cuts, and the quality of instruction at the school was proven at the Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts’ 18th Annual Collector Car Show. According to the Green Valley News, three students, along with their automotive instructor Bryce Bond, demonstrated their automotive restoration talents with an entry at the car show. Bond came up with the idea to restore Sahuarita Unified School District superintendent Jay St. John’s 1961 Corvette convertible for a class project. St. John retired from the district in 2010, but was delighted at the opportunity for the students to learn about vintage ‘Vette.

With St. John covering the expenses for the necessary parts, paint, equipment and supplies for the project, the students were responsible for the labor and learning. Three top advanced auto shop students, Steven Williams, Alex Malloy and Joe Swartzentruber, were selected to take part in the collector car project. Each of the three students were involved in almost every aspect of the restoration, with the exception of spraying the paint and rebuilding the carburetor. After the work was completed, St. John was impressed by the students’ work ethic and the quality of their workmanship. Not only was St. John impressed by their hard work; the ’61 stood out enough at the Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts’ 18th Annual Collector Car Show to earn a People’s Choice prize. Previously, St. John had never entered the C1 in a show, but he credits the students and Bond with the award.