Canyon del Oro High School senior Tanner Hensley's favorite class fuses math and business concepts with his favorite subject of all, cars.
"Cars have been part of my life for quite a while," Hensley, a member of the school's Auto Club, said about the school's auto shop class. "You can take what you learn in the class and use it whenever. ... It's my favorite class, by far."
Teacher Jeremy Tarbet, 26, said he shows his students as many facets as possible of the car industry. Tarbet, who worked in a body shop at a car dealership before moving into teaching, familiarizes students with the business side of the equation, as well as its mechanical know-how. About 130 students take one of Tarbet's five classes. Tarbet, a CDO graduate, also has coached baseball at the school.
The students operate a shop and occasionally work on vehicles people from the community bring in.
Students learn what goes into repair and restoration, as well as the cost of parts and how to establish efficient workflow. Right now the students are restoring a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle and a 1956 Chevy.
Not that the class is all business. This weekend, with the Wizard of Rodz car show (see accompanying box) - the first event of its kind at the school - the students plan to share their appreciation of classic vehicles while raising money for supplies.
Tarbet said he's planning for more than 100 cars to be on display.
"We're hoping for kind of a festival atmosphere," he said. "We want to have music, cars and people."
Other groups at the school are getting into the act, adding a rummage sale and cooking and construction demonstrations to the event.
Cris Cisco, who coordinates the school's International Baccalaureate Program and came up with the idea for the car show and related events, said the auto program is flooring it with Tarbet behind the wheel.
"He's done an awesome job," Cisco said. "He's doing a great job of introducing students to the whole body shop part of it."
Hensley, who plans to expand his auto knowledge at trade school, said the class has given him a solid knowledge base.
"He knows a lot about cars and can help us if we need any help," Hensley said of Tarbet. "He's a pretty cool guy, and as a teacher he's just one of the better ones."
Another of Tarbet's students, senior Steven Anders, has been contacting car dealerships and shops around the city to round up participants. Anders, who also plans to study vehicles at trade school, said he hopes to see some of his favorites on display, including old hot rods, Camaros and Mustangs.
"Cars have been pretty much my everything since I was 5, working on airplanes with my dad," Anders said.
Hensley said he most appreciates "the knowledge about the more industrial side of it. The lifts, the alignments and stuff. The stuff you can't learn at home. The stuff you have to be around a shop to know."
If you go
• What: Wizard of Rodz.
• When: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Check-in time for car exhibitors is 8 a.m.
• Where: Canyon del Oro High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia.
• Admission: Free, but there's a $10 entry fee for those who want to show a car.
• For more information: email@example.com
Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org