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Passing the TCAT Automotive Keys from Old Hands to New

Shanna Franklin (L to R) received the automotive keys from Dan Townsend upon his recent retirement as Automotive Instructor at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-McKenzie.

McKENZIE (March 11) – Dan Townsend, a Paris resident, and Automotive Instructor at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-McKenzie, retired the keys after 20 years. He has accomplished many achievements while being the Automotive Instructor since 2001. Some of those achievements include but not limited to, earning, and maintaining ASE Certification for the Automotive program, industry involvement, numerous TN SkillsUSA awards and sustaining a graduate placement rate of nearly 90 percent.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification assures consumers of the knowledge and mastery of a mechanic. Automotive professionals who carry this certification are seen as experts in their field; having a high level of professionalism, proper training and a commitment to continuing their automotive education. Graduates from the TCAT McKenzie Automotive program are trained and well prepared to take the ASE test. Over the years, Townsend has built the current Automotive program into an accurate, technological-learning environment. He has acquired training machines, scanners and tools added to the program to accurately train students.

Townsend plans to spend his retirement filled with charity work, riding his motorcycles, fishing and traveling with his wife. He says, “I feel like God has blessed me through the years and I want to give those blessings back to anyone I can. I plan to help St. Jude and the Disabled Veterans’ charities as much as I can when I am not enjoying my other activities.”

TCAT McKenzie has hired Shanna Franklin, a McKenzie native and current resident, to take over the keys for the Automotive program. She graduated from McKenzie High School in 1998 and is a mother of two.  She graduated from the Automotive program in 2019 and has continued to substitute for Townsend periodically over the past couple of years. Franklin initially enrolled in the Automotive program because she enjoyed tinkering with cars and wanted to know how everything worked together.

She accomplished many honorable achievements while enrolled at TCAT McKenzie. Franklin was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society, elected as the TCAT McKenzie Student of the Year, and was top of her class when she graduated from the Automotive program. Franklin even went to SkillsUSA twice while enrolled and competed in Job Skills Demo and eight areas of Automotive ASE. Her favorite part of being a student was rebuilding the engines and using all the tools the Automotive program offers. When Franklin learned of Townsend’s retirement, she thought about how she enjoyed substituting for him and decided relatively fast to apply for the instructor’s position. Franklin said she is excited to teach the skills and knowledge she has learned from Townsend to current and future students of TCAT McKenzie.

“TCAT McKenzie would like to wish Dan Townsend a happy retirement and send a warm welcome to Shanna Franklin,” a TCAT representative noted in a press release.

For more information about programs offered at TCAT McKenzie, call 731-352-5364. New classes begin May 3, 2021.

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