Return to Headlines

Tonawanda senior wins auto tech competition

picture of winning team with trophy
Above: Tonawanda's own Alex Prims (second from right) and Grand Island's Kyle Huttenmaier (second from left) pose with their trophy, held by their teacher, Gary Willis. Also pictured is Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association Chairwoman Carol Duchman (left) and President Paul Stasiak.


A Tonawanda senior makes up half of the team that won the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association’s 2018 Ron Smith Memorial Auto Tech Competition on Jan. 13.

Alex Prims of Tonawanda High School and Kyle Huttenmaier of Grand Island High School claimed the top spot in the competition, earning a three-day, all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the National Automotive Technology Competition. In addition, the team received toolboxes full of tools and equipment and $1,000 scholarships to be used toward furthering their automotive education.

High school seniors in the Automotive Diagnostics portion of the competition worked in teams to uncover hidden automotive bugs planted on test vehicles. The teams went through a series of diagnostic, workstation and performance tests to measure their automotive technical skills and abilities. Ford Motor Company was the vehicle sponsor and provided vehicles for the students to compete on.

Alex and Kyle represented the Erie 1 BOCES Kenton Career & Technical Center's senior team for the competition.

First held in 1995, the NFADA Ron Smith Memorial Auto Tech Competition is organized by the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association (NFADA). It is hosted by the Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center (ECC-VTTC) in Orchard Park and is supported by local dealerships, educational institutions and local businesses. It is open to 11th- and 12th-grade automotive students from all over Western New York.