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The Student News Site of Prospect High School


The Student News Site of Prospect High School



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Autos replacement revs up program

By Spencer Ball

Executive online editor

Being the new kid at school is never an easy task. Based upon a plethora of entirely accurate movies and shows, new students have to deal with isolation and bullying of the atomic wedgie variety.

Following this foolproof logic, one would assume that new teachers face a similar treatment as well. However, the new Autos teacher for this school year, Todd Custible, is the living counterargument to that belief.

Although Custible has both taught and coached at Hersey for the past 17 years, the 50 students in his first- and second-period classes have been very respectful and show a strong willingness to learn.

“I’m from Hersey, and none of [my students] have held out against me,” Custible said. “[Their behavior] really speaks volumes of the student body.”

According to Career and Technology Education Division Head Jovan Lazarevic, the Autos program had been instructed by Sean Murrin for the past few years, who returned to Buffalo Grove High School this year, working full time and teaching Project Lead the Way.

With Murrin gone, Lazarevic feels that Custible shares the same enthusiasm that Murrin had towards teaching the students in Autos exactly what they need to know.

“[Custible] has been fantastic,” Lazarevic said. “He has been engaging students and making sure he builds strong relationships . . . I think that [this year] is going to be without a hitch.”

If students decide to take Autos as one of their electives, they will progress through the semester course learning the aspects of safely maintaining an automotive vehicle to the consumer approach of buying and selling a car.

Custible also emphasizes the students won’t leave the course with the physical tools to handle an automotive job, but they will be exposed to the automobile nomenclature so that when students do need repairs on their car, they understand what has to be done.

“Basically, I want to make sure my students are not taken advantage of in both the automotive field as well as any career they decide to go into,” Custible said. “[That way], they are the most knowledgeable and are prepared to take on any task.”

Although Custible aims to provide a solid understanding of the ins and outs of the automotive industry, Custible’s true goal is to prepare his students for the working world, as well as getting them to truly love school and the education it provides.

“[Teaching] is not just about the content that you’re teaching,” Custible said. “[It is] for all [students] to finally have that, ‘aha moment,’ in education where they can finally get it and say, ‘Wow, school is pretty cool.’”

Custible feels that it is a teacher’s duty to not only teach the basic curriculum straight from the textbook, but to incorporate all of what students are learning so that they are able to make connections and achieve a greater working habit

The advantage of electives such as Autos, Custible believes, is that students build strong problem solving and communicative skills, which are essential attributes in order to be successful in a working environment.

With the ever increasing reliance upon technology, Custible feels that these skills are becoming more and more diminished.

“Look at where technology has taken us,” Custible said. “Texting and emailing take priority over spoken word, and when you get out into the working world, you need to communicate with your colleagues, and you have to do a lot more problem solving, and we’ve gotten away from that, because if it is one thing technology has done, it is making solving problems a ton easier.

Custible has gained much of this insight from his almost two-decade-old career teaching Autos, P.E., Driver’s Ed, Graphic Arts and Wood Working, as well as coaching water polo, wrestling and cross country.

“It is difficult to find teachers with as many specialties that I have, so I became what they call a utility man,” Custible said. “So now, if you have a class but you need another teacher, I’m your guy.”

What Custible finds ironic about the entire situation is that his driving passion for teaching resides in P.E., so much so that he already knew in the seventh grade that he wanted to be a P.E. teacher, yet due to his qualifications, he has taught so many different subjects other than P.E.

“[Teachers] will tell you that no one is more gung-ho at Hersey, yet I’m the one who can hardly stay full time,” Custible said.

Even though this is Custible’s first year teaching a class at Prospect, he has already coached both wrestling and girls’ water polo at Prospect as well.

Custible’s most rewarding moment throughout his entire career is that he had a handful of students on the edge of life, and he was able to finally get them to accept help.

“That was a huge thing,” Custible said. I am exposed to a lot of students that are struggling down the path that’s wrong, and out of all students that I get to love school, that I get to understand a concept in class, all that pales in comparison to when you get the student that finally chooses life.”


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