GREENVILLE — Greenville High School Career-Technology Center’s new Auto-Tech Instructor Matt Obringer, of Greenville, discovered decades of history in his desk drawer.
“I am not the cleanest individual you have ever met, but I sat down and opened up the desk drawer and I said, ‘Holy crap’,” he said. “So much stuff was shoved in here. I started going through this thing – you want to talk about a blast from the past. This photo is of a field trip that I took when I was in my junior year. We were learning about air bags. I kept digging and found some business cards from me, from 2003. The oldest thing I found in here was from 1962. I think it was due to be cleaned.”
Obringer was a former student of the Greenville High School Auto-Tech Program.
“I found everything valuable about the program, especially learning public speaking skills,” he said. “I was not good at talking to people, and very nervous. I was chosen at the time to be on the SkillsUSA project, and I had to overcome my nerves. Teaching has also helped cure me of that fear. “
Obringer graduated in 2004, and later graduated from Sinclair Community College. He is a Master Certified Auto Mechanic. Some of his work experience includes: the Apple Farm Service, Inc., Greenville City Parks Maintenance Department and Hittle Buick GMC, in Greenville. Auto Tech Instructor Travis Nicholas was Obringer’s mentor at Hittle. Nicholas reached out to Obringer about a teaching position in the GHS Auto-Tech Program.
“It came down to the fact that I had such a good opportunity going through that program,” Obringer said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without that Auto-Tech Program. I am trying to give that back.”
Obringer said once he enrolled in the Auto-Tech program, he went from a “C” to a straight-“A” student.
“It was definitely due to the work ethic I learned in the program.” he said. “It made a big difference for sure.”
As for teaching experience, Obringer said he had mentored many students through Hittle. One-on-one he was pretty familiar with teaching, he said.
“But teaching an entire class and the different levels of ability, was a huge change,” he said. “Also understanding the kids’ needs can be a challenge. I didn’t realize when I became a teacher, that I had to be a psychologist more than a teacher.”
Nicholas said retired Instructor Jim Anderson trained him very well, which in-turn has helped Nicholas bring Obringer into teaching. Everyone is feeling him out; I think he is finally getting his feet planted, Nicholas said.
“Mr. Obringer has done a great job so far converting from an Automotive Technician into a teacher, which is a lot easier said than done,” Nicholas said. “He has made it full circle, going from a auto student, to a technician, to a mentor and finally an instructor.”
“It’s been good,” Obringer said. “We have a lot of progress we can make through the program.”
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