Driver’s ed teachers open driving school

PAT FRIDGEN
Chuck Tinninis, left, and Delbert Myers opened Greencastle Driving School to fill the void after the school district dropped behind-the-wheel training from the curriculum.

With the elimination of behind-the-wheel instruction at Greencastle-Antrim High School, a major educational component appeared to disappear for teenagers learning how to drive.

When the school district announced last spring that behind-the-wheel would be dropped in the 2010-2011 school year, a victim of budget cuts, instructor Chuck Tinninis decided to open a private driving school, and asked former instructor Delbert Myers to come along for the ride. The two consulted with the state Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and formed Greencastle Driving School LLC.

Tinninis will continue to teach classroom driver's education. He has 23 years experience in the field. Myers, retired since 2006, taught driver's ed for 34 years. Between them, they worked with 4,000 students.

"Four months ago this wasn't on my radar screen," Myers acknowledged.

The school board approved an agreement with GDS on Aug. 19. Initially, the personal driving lessons will be taught by Myers, who already has students enrolled, and Tinninis will join him once the football season is over. He is head coach of the varsity Blue Devils. Myers can take students out of study hall for the hands-on training. Opportunities to drive will also be after school, summers or other hours by arrangement.

The pair is certified to offer the PA Driver's License Examination to Greencastle students who are enrolled in the classroom portion of the course. When they complete the six hours of behind the wheel, they can take the driving test on the approved Greencastle test route. The driving test can also be conducted by a state examiner at the Department of Motor Vehicles center at 190 Mill Road in Chambersburg.

Once a student completes the roadway training, he will be issued a Certification of Completion, which shows eligibility for an auto insurance discount and a senior license at age 17 and a half.

"We're providing a service for the students," Tinninis said.

However, adults may also take advantage of the instruction. Anyone with a learners permit or drivers license may enroll. All students must use the car provided by Greencastle Driving School.

The businessmen purchased a 2010 Honda Accord. Tinninis added promotional signage to his personal pickup truck, but will not be using it for the program.

Anyone wanting information may visit the website greencastledrivingschool.com or call 597-9270.