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Anthony Mondi Shares Experiences at the Race Track With UTI Exton Students

"It’s that a-ha moment, when they understand - when they get it. You’re looking at students who may or may have not had prior experience coming here. When you finally get them to understand and they have that look on their face, that’s a proud moment."

 

Like so many UTI instructors, Anthony Mondi doesn’t stop thinking about cars when he drives away from campus. His excitement and dedication continues even when he’s off the clock.

He’s spent 13 years teaching at UTI. He’s the Technical Team Leader of the Power Performance II program, is certified in chassis, and is a Toyota Professional Automotive Technician (TPAT) program teacher. Holding such impressive roles would leave most satisfied in their auto career. But for Anthony, he is driven to do more. Besides being a UTI instructor he’s also a part time member of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) alcohol fueled racing car team for Jay Blake’s followadream.org, sponsored by Permatex.

Anthony jokes about how people perceive his time spent on the road with the team. “People are like ‘how’s your vacation?’ and I’m like ‘if by vacation you mean working hard….” Most days start around 8:30am at the track and end at 11:30 at night in the hotel room, having to wake up again at the same time the next morning and do it all over again. It’s far from being a relaxing vacation by the pool, but it’s what he loves to do. It may be a part time job, but he gives it his full time effort.

As a member of this team he’s a self-described “utility man”. He’s the guy who takes care of all of the fluids; he helps out in maintaining the clutch, takes care of the tires, and makes adjustments to the brakes. After every race the transmission comes out, the clutch is removed and they make sure everything is in working order. 

And all of his and his team’s work has paid off. In July of 2015 they won a national event. They recently took a regional event. And they’re poised to become the eastern regional champions. He laughs about potentially taking this championship saying that if this happens he’ll have to buy a suit. It’s this sense of humor that Anthony brings to his classroom. He likes to keep things light while still being serious about what he teaches.

“I like to have fun, I like to joke around, but there’s always the serious nature, I just like to keep my classroom right in the middle.” Anthony sees a lot of himself in the students he teaches. He relates to their curiosity, and he senses when they struggle with self-confidence. But most importantly he gets to be a part of those moments when the light bulb turns on and everything comes together and they figure something out.

“It’s that a-ha moment, when they understand - when they get it. You’re looking at students who may or may have not had prior experience coming here. When you finally get them to understand and they have that look on their face, that’s a proud moment.”

Having worked both on race teams and as an instructor has given him insights into what students need to prepare for both in their education and once they graduate. One of the main things that he thinks is important is to have persistence and to never give up, even when they might be facing challenges.

“Determination is one of the big things, you have to be determined to finish what you start, and you have to be determined to put the effort into doing well and succeeding. You have to keep your focus. Find what you want to do and go for it.”

Anthony certainly has found what he’s wanted to do both in and out of the classroom and he is happy being an instructor at UTI. It is a part of who he is.

 

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