high school

Gary Komaniecki

I have been teaching automotive technology and the repair of such for 10 years at Rochester Public Schools. I have a somewhat unique background in that besides my degree and level of education, I have spent the majority of my career, 20+ years in the field, as a professional automobile mechanic/technician.I hold an ASE Gold Master Technician certification, with an additional L1 Advanced Engine Performance rating. The State of Minnesota Department of Education recognizes my industry experience with an additional Vocational Certification, which refunds half of my salary back to RPS….a good deal! It is with this perspective that I teach students here in Rochester, not just kids from Mayo, but Century and JM high schools as well.Despite my industry experience, I do not nor do I believe I am obligated to teach all my students to become technicians, though I can certainly nurture those that express an interest in that direction (a steady 10% by my estimation). Rather, I teach all my classes, even the advanced repair and technology class, on a discovery basis. The backgrounds and capabilities of my students are too diverse to adopt a “cookie cutter” mentality when it comes to education in the shop and getting your hands dirty.I will admit that I am disappointed that more college-bound or AP type students do not take my class. I am teaching life skills and money saving tips after all. Most of these students, when asked, tell me that they “cannot afford” or “don’t have the time” for my class. It is with this in mind that I post pictures of activities in the auto shop (see "Meet the Crew" link). The captions will include the student’s names and school and the job being performed. The cost of the repair as performed at a professional level and facility, and the cost of us repairing it can be found on the "Our Projects" link. The reader is left the math assignment of calculating the savings.The cost of the blood, sweat, and tears, as well as any instructor anguish/frustration, will not be calculated? You may also find a few comments by me on the nature of the work or students. 

Sincerely, Gary Komaniecki, Instructor

Please contact me with any questions or concerns:
Gary Komaniecki​​​ 

I am here from 6:15 a.m. until at least 5:00 p.m. on most days. Students always get priority, especially if the mechanical issue involves safety, such as brakes or steering.

Volunteer Work: My classroom (1-118) and the shop are also home of Operation Hometown Gratitude. On Tuesdays after school we send care packages to deployed troops.We are also working with the Peace Corps and an NGO in Zambia, Africa. Call me or check the Community section (Operation Hometown Gratitude) of the RPS site for details. The Rochester Public High Schools have a proud history of former students volunteering for military service; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard and/or reserves. Presently, we have over 20 graduates that we know of deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq with many more having served or getting ready to deploy. In several instances, these young men and women and their units are seeing heavy action and taking casualties. Living conditions for most are challenging and many are lacking basic necessities such as thermal underwear, as well as “luxuries”, such as good coffee, jerky, and high energy snacks.We at Operation Hometown Gratitude are arranging a care package item drive with Mayo Clinic employees and Rochester Public High School staff. This drive will culminate on February 8th in a packing event at Mayo HS. We have included an amended list of the most desirable care package items as requested by the front line soldiers we are supporting. We would ask that any staff member or person wishing to participate peruse the requested item list and purchase one or more items. Letters and cards to soldiers will be included in the boxes and are also appreciated by the troops. Items can be dropped off at JM in the main office, the ceramics studio 3-214, or the auto shop 4-G03. At Mayo, the auto shop 1-118 or the front office, and at Century’s front office.I have also attached a thank you letter received last week by us and typical of the gratitude expressed to us at OHG by the recipients of our care packages. If you know of a deployed soldier, please send the contact information (APO-FPO military address) to Operation Hometown Gratitude care of me

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