SHOW LOW — Drivers on the streets of Show Low will likely see two new Toyota Corollas with driver education decals on them. The cars are the result of a generous donation to Show Low High School’s Driver Education program by Hatch Toyota and the dealership’s owner, Chaz Hatch. Hatch is a Show Low High School alum and feels an allegiance to his community. Over the past year his dealership has donated a new Toyota Camry to the Show Low Police Department, the two new Corollas to Show Low High School, and this last May they awarded a graduating high school senior finishing in the top 10 in their class a new Toyota for the 12th year in a row. He shared why he chose to donate to the Driver Education program.
“I first was made aware of the need for two vehicles for the Driver Education program at Show Low High School by Business Manager, Greg Schubert. Hatch Toyota thought this to be a great time to give of our resources to help the school out. They received two identical new 2018 Hatch Toyota Corollas. The students and the facility will be driving the newest Toyotas loaded with the safety and technology provided by years of research and development. I have always felt a great responsibility to give back to the youth of this community. These kids are our future leaders. As responsible corporate citizens, we should make sure they have all they need to push through and become something we are all proud of. This is where I’m from and proud to be from Show Low.”
We talked to the SLHS Driver Education teachers Tonya and Jerry Butler.
“The Driver Education program at Show Low High School is an extra-curricular class that is offered to any student who has a learner's permit or a driver’s license. This is the ninth year that the class has been offered and is available to students during the fall and spring semesters. The program consists of 30 classroom hours and six hours of behind the wheel training. Classroom driver education analyzes tasks an individual must perform while operating a motor vehicle. Units address alcohol safety, drug abuse awareness, aggressive driving, distracted driving and motorcycle and truck awareness. Behind the wheel training gives students experience in parallel parking as well as driving in residential, rural and highway setting," they said.
"The class has been limited to 20 students per session, but with the two new vehicles that Chaz Hatch has donated, we are able to increase the enrollment. In the past we were only able to take one school car out for the driving portion of the class. Having two cars will allow both teachers to drive with a number of students at the same time," they explained. "We appreciate this generous donation that will benefit the Driver Education program for years to come.”
Driver education classes not only benefit the community by providing classroom and behind the wheel training for safer teenage drivers, but they also benefit families and their pocketbooks. Jill Tinkel, a local State Farm Agent said: "As a rule, insurance companies reward proactive behaviors like driver education, students earning good grades and in-company new driver training programs. If parents discuss the merits of each those areas so their teenage drivers understand their importance, they can realize discounts of up to 10 percent for completed driver education, up to 25 pecent discount for a good student on their policy and up to 20 percent for completing our State Farm new driver program. This type of encouragement for teen drivers creates safer drivers and safer streets for all our residents.”
The combined value of the vehicles is just over $45,000. Hatch Toyota is located in the Northern Arizona Auto Mall in Show Low.