Hamilton County District 8 Commissioner Tim Boyd is committing $15,000 to the East Ridge High School automotive program.
At a recent East Ridge Community Forum, Boyd presented automotive instructor Rainey Horne with the remaining check for $5,000. He presented Horne with $10,000 in October.
"Rainey Horne has taken $15,000 donated and leveraged it into more than $100,000 of scholarships for his students," said Boyd. "I want people to recognize the efforts that teachers make. Rainey spends untold hours directing and coaching students and gets no compensation for that. He is as much a coach to these kids as any wrestling or football coach."
Horne said the money will continue to go toward sending East Ridge High engine building team students to competitions across the United States. Contributions also helped purchase new team uniforms and a trailer for equipment.
He said automotive students try out each year for the school's engine building teams.
"We've won the division twice and placed second, third and fourth in the national competition in a short time," said Horne. "Right now we are putting together an all girls team of five to go to SEMA and a second team of five guys."
The ERHS engine teams began winning competitions from the start. In 2010 the they won the Division 2 competition at the Performance Electronics Distributor's Inc. show in conjunction with the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge in Nashville. The teams moved on to win second place in the nation at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge in Las Vegas in 2010. In 2011, ERHS took two engine teams to Nashville and placed first and second in Division 2.
Horne said recently in Las Vegas at the SEMA Show the East Ridge girls Comp Cams Engine Team took home third in the nation and the East Ridge boys Automotive Racing Products Engine Team took home fourth in the nation.
He said when students compete in SEMA, each could win $10,000 worth of scholarships.
"These kids come in the program and if they make the engine building team, I can guarantee them scholarship money," he said. "We [10 students] brought back $225,000 worth of scholarship money from Las Vegas this year. We are proud to be East Ridge Pioneers. Everyone across the country is flipping out about what we've accomplished."