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Clover Park Technical College Wins Prestigious National Award

The Lakewood school was chosen out of 350 schools for the Tomorrow's Technician School of the Year. The program's 150 students learned of the honor Thursday during a surprise ceremony.

Clover Park Technical College is plenty of things to plenty of people.

A place to learn. A place to advance. A place of pride.

Now, you can add a place of national recognition to that list.

On Thursday, the Lakewood school announced that it won the 2012 Tomorrow's Technician School of the Year.

The award - sponsored by WIX Filters and O'Reilly Auto Parts - is a prestigious one, as Clover Park was selected out of 350 schools nationwide. It basically recognizes the best automotive technician program in the country.

The program's 150 or students learned of the award during a surprise ceremony Thursday in one of the school's automotive shops.

Never the shy bunch, the group gave some of its loudest cheers for longtime auto instructors Gary Covington and Wayne Bridges.

"For me, I have the pleasure of working with the most talented automotive instructors in the United States," Bridges told the group. "I can say that, no brag, just fact."

"It's an amazing group that we have here," he added. "I feel blessed to get to work with these guys."

"Amen!" someone from the group shouted.

"Hallelujah!" another boasted.

Clover Park is the fifth recipient of the award. Previous winners include Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO; Caddo Career & Technology Center in Shreveport, LA; Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, OH; and Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL.

Clover Park's automotive technician program submitted a video entry. (You can view the winning entry in the media gallery)

The school will get a $2,500 donation from WIX Filters, gear from O'Reilly and WIX, a 200-piece professional automotive tool set and a $250 gift card from O'Reilly.

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