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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Innovation makes a difference in Brighton’s CTE automotive program

Oct 01, 2022 06:23PM ● By Jerry Christensen

By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]

Brighton High School has several programs, teams and even classes that seem to excel year after year. These could be called “Brighton specialties.” There’s Brighton’s nationally ranked Model United Nations team, Brighton’s AP (Advanced Placement) offerings, and the state-ranked marching band. Some Brighton gems are even brands unto themselves like Brighton Tennis and Brighton Swimming. Each of these traditional Brighton strengths can be traced to innovative teachers and coaches who went above and beyond to establish a movement. 

Canyons School District has created a means to give innovative school leaders the tools needed to establish such long-lasting programs. It’s called the Canyons Education Foundation and it grants funds to all sides of the district including Brighton’s own innovative teachers. Innovation Grants are awarded annually thanks to generous donations, community partnerships, and support of donors via the Education Foundation’s annual golf tournament at Wasatch Mountain State Park. This year’s tournament raised $98,000.

“Foundation Grant delivery day is the absolute best day of the year,” External Relations Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards said. “It’s neat seeing when the money that the Foundation board raises makes it to the classroom and allows innovative teachers to do extra special things for their students.”

Tyler Perkins, the new “voice” of Brighton football and basketball, was granted nearly $10,000 for Brighton’s CTE (Career and Technical Education) automotive program. Perkins, who built similar programs at Hunter High School, said, “These funds will help us bring automotive education into the new century.” 

Many tools and much of the infrastructure in the auto shop are designed to service and rebuild vehicles pre-2000. The auto technology has become more computer based and now becomes less about internal combustion engines and is trending toward electric vehicles (EV). These innovation funds will be used to acquire state-of-the-art diagnostic and repair tools.

“We will now have scan tools for cars as new as 2022. We’ll replace our battery systems testers that are from the 1970s. We’ll have a FLIR (forward looking infrared) ray gun that allows students to troubleshoot electrical systems and even suspension issues. We will have a high voltage tool kit that will enable us to safely work on newer cars.”

Fully enabled, the Brighton CTE automotive program with a visionary teacher is poised to be another in the pantheon of Brighton’s innovative specialty programs.

For community members looking to help contribute to the CTE automotive program, Perkins sends out a request to the Brighton community for car donations 2000 and newer. The cars do not need to be in working order. Donations are tax deductible. Contact [email protected]