Toyota donates six prototype engines to Pioneer’s auto program

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News
Toyota Technical Center in Livonia delivered an unexpected and exceptionally generous holiday gift to Ann Arbor Public Schools today.
Vince Snyder, far left, stands by the new engines with students Owen Aldridge, Anthony Schneider, and Kevin Knibbs.  At right is para professional Tom Schmidt.
Six prototype engines, including some with transmissions, were delivered to the Automotive Program at Pioneer.  These new engines will be used during the second semester in the Engine Repair course.  The donation will allow the students at Pioneer the opportunity to learn first hand how engines are constructed.
“This is a very generous donation to the program,” said Karen Eisley, the district’s department chair for Career Technical Education (CTE).  “We have received engines in the past from Toyota, but never this quantity.”
She said the new automotive teacher, Vince Snyder, was “like a kid in a candy store” this morning.
“I knew we were going to receive an engine donation,” said Snyder, “but the magnitude of this is awesome.  To receive not only the engines, but also the transmissions is beyond anything we expected.”
Added Eisley: “We are excited about the transformation of our auto programs, and the resources we now have available to make student learning current.”

Toyota Technical Center spokesman Andrew Sakowski said the company donated a few engines to local schools a couple years ago. Each school, including Pioneer, got one engine.

“This time around, we had more engines, so I arranged to donate those engines to five different local schools,” he said.  “When I heard Vince was a new instructor at Pioneer, and how he was very enthusiastic about expanding the automotive program there, I made it a priority to get him as many engines as I could.  We are all very happy that they were well received and always glad when we can help out other organizations in the community, especially schools.”


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