Scarborough's Jean Vanier high school students big winners in AutoShow skills

TORONTO, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Two automotive tech students from Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Scarborough beat out 19 other Toronto-area high school teams to win a unique skills competition that challenged students' technical knowledge at the Canadian International AutoShow today.

James Bacmiller and John Gonsalves performed a number of timed technical tasks and attempted to start a 2010 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible that had been rigged with a no-start condition by automotive instructors from Centennial College. By finishing first, the pair will be representing Canada at the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City in April.

Toronto's Danforth Tech finished second, thanks to the efforts of students Cameron Elpkick and Tauriq Shaikh, while Central Tech earned third place, represented by Jonathan Bagni and Michael Mallette. In addition to the all-expenses-paid trip, Bacmiller and Gonsalves received a trophy and equipment from sponsors.

The top two schools are winners, too. Their automotive tech shops will take delivery of a General Motors vehicle, which will be used for technical training. General Motors of Canada generously donated two brand-new vehicles as prizes.

This was the 11th year for the contest, organized by Centennial College, which promotes automotive technology as a rewarding career path. Last year's winners from Northview Heights Secondary School placed second in New York City, while a team from Central Tech beat all of the U.S. teams and collected prizes worth $250,000 in 2008.

The Toronto skills contest enjoys outstanding support from the industry. Sponsors include: Toronto Automobile Dealers Association, Canadian International AutoShow, Volkswagen Canada, General Motors Canada, Snap-On/Sun Tools, Consulab, Canadian Tire, Ryder Truck, Thomson Nelson, Pearson Education, Auto-Know Inc., TecMate and Centennial College.

Note: Photos available upon request.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, (416) 289-5000, ext. 7142,

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