BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast Technical High School automotive students gathered around Joe Mallozzi and a punctured tire. Mallozzi, who is Myers Tire Supply's territory manager, was at the school to show the class how to repair the hole.
It's something that happens often in the class.
The school's automotive instructor, Kevin Moglia, and paraprofessional Dan Murphy try to bring in business partners who may have more expertise in certain areas than they have. And whenever students can add certifications to their portfolios, it's a good thing.
"I'm a certified teacher for the company," Mallozzi said. "I love giving back to the kids. This gives them a good guideline."
After the demonstration, the students were tested to receive certification for tire skills.
Moglia tries to have outside experts come to teach classes about four times a year. Besides the opportunity for more certifications, the guest instructors help keep students aware of some of the constant changes in vehicles.
This particular class concerned tire pressure.
"All new cars as of 2007, it became mandatory that cars have some kind of tire pressure monitoring system," Moglia said.
The tire repair lesson consisted of several steps, and students watched and listened attentively while Mallozzi presented them. He also showed them something he has personally found useful — how to mark a repair so if something happens to the tire, the repair person can identify whether he or she made it.
Junior Corey McCaffrey, 16, watched the repair lesson with interest.
"It's important because if it's not properly crafted, it might be detrimental to whoever's behind the wheel," she said.
Corey is in the class because fixing cars is in her blood.
"I grew up around mechanics, and I understand it well," she said. "I love it."
Freshman Matthew Rance, 15, was raised in a similar situation.
"I used to work on cars when I was little," he said. "I really like cars and working on them."
Freshman Michael Ivers, 15, appreciated the value of the day's lesson and is learning all he can for a very practical reason.
"Tires are a really important part of the car and the owner's safety," he said. "I want to be a mechanic."