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RAC Instructor Darryl Parker

Hometown: Chesapeake

Degree: Graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology from Tidewater Community College in 2009.

Employer: Instructor at TCC’s Regional Automotive Center, teaching the Toyota T-TEN program and general automotive classes.

Why TCC? “I had a lot of interest in cars as a teenager and took automotive classes in high school. I went to work in industry right out of high school, and spent close to two decades working in dealer service departments. I came to TCC because it was time to get my degree.”

At TCC: “At TCC I learned that I really enjoyed the classroom and lab settings. I sometimes miss those challenging problems we’d find when working on cars in the dealership. I loved solving those problems. But teaching is definitely my calling.”

What makes you a good teacher? “I enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping people. My ultimate goal in every class is to help my students advance in this field. I’m organized and work hard to be prepared for each class that I teach. And I’m willing to accept feedback to enhance my teaching. And, of course, I’m always working on my own continuing education.”

What makes the RAC special? “We all enjoy the work and are passionate about cars. There’s a real sense of camaraderie here. And student success is what we’re all about.”

Today’s cars: “Vehicles are lasting longer and need less repair work. But on the flip side, there are more electronics in today’s vehicles and the big manufacturers are really emphasizing customer satisfaction.”

Dream car: “My dream car is definitely the Lexus LS 460, which is manufactured by a division of Toyota.”

Personal: Married for 25 years, Parker enjoys traveling with his wife, Rosie. “I love experiencing different cultures, different food and seeing new places.”In his free time, Parker likes to play and watch sports, especially the NBA.

Advice for potential automotive students: “The RAC is a great place to learn, with great teachers, resources, tools and a state-of-the-art facility. If you have want to work on cars and trucks for a living, this is the place to start.”