2 A.W. Beattie students combine to be one of the best teams in statewide competition


Avonworth senior Jake Abbott and Hampton Township senior Austin McLean are two of the top Automotive Technology students in Pennsylvania.

The pair combined to place fourth in the 2021 Skip Wagner Automotive competition through the Pennsylvania Automotive Association. It’s the seventh consecutive year a Beattie team has placed in the top five.

“We have a lot of bright, hard-working and talented students at Beattie, and it was their time to shine,” Automotive Technology instructors Larry Parks and Nate Monroe said. “We’re really proud of them.”

The statewide competition was a 200-question exam.

Typically, it would also include an in-person, hands-on challenge.

“I’m really more of a hands-on learner, so I didn’t expect to do so well with a written exam like the one for the competition,” Austin said. “When you look at how it was done and how well we did, it’s exciting. It shows what we’re doing here isn’t only developing hands-on skills. You have to be really smart to be in this industry.”

Austin plans to attend college for Diesel Automotive Technology, and Jake will continue to work in the Automotive Technology field. He is currently an employee at Mt. Nebo Automotive.

“I was motivated from the first day I walked into this program three years ago, because this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Jake said. “My dad owned his own body shop and still tinkers with automobiles. Right now, we’re building a ’66 Mustang from the frame up. It’s what I like doing, too, and maybe I’ll also own my own body shop one day.”

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