Phil Tanner, a collision repair instructor from Irmo High School in Columbia, South Carolina, was named the I-CAR Education Foundation’s 2009 Instructor of the Year. Tanner received an expense-paid trip to NACE 2009, where he was recognized for this achievement and honored with an award during the first annual I-CAR Education Foundation Donor Recognition Reception.
Tanner has worked in the collision repair industry for 44 years and has been an instructor for 27 years. Tanner has been very involved in SkillsUSA, where he has served as an advisor for 26 years. Although he is a teacher, Tanner still highly values education for himself personally and continues to take I-CAR and other training programs to maintain his own skills and expand his knowledge.
In addition to his school achievements, Tanner is involved in numerous activities to help his community. One such activity is “Operation Santa,” which is sponsored by his county’s sheriff’s department to provide food and clothing for needy families during the holiday season. Tanner and his SkillsUSA team have provided over $35,000 to this project in the past nine years. On an international level, Tanner and his students collected and purchased over 300 soccer balls, which were sent to Iraq for the Iraqi children. Tanner and his collision class also restored an old bus that was donated to the Life Ministry Zimbabwe in Africa to assist in meeting medical needs in rural areas.
Tanner was nominated by Detective Steve Baumgardner, a former colleague at Irmo High School, and Ellen Baumgardner, a School District 5 trustee.
Baumgardner stated in her recommendation, “Mr. Tanner is truly an asset for the Lexington/Richland School District 5 and Irmo High School. We are truly blessed for having a man with such compassion and being a role model for teachers and students.”
“The I-CAR Education Foundation is proud to honor Phil Tanner for his achievement and dedication in the classroom and for his generosity and philanthropy around the world,” said Scott Kruger, I-CAR Education Foundation executive director. “His students are learning by example not only what it means to be successful in the collision industry but also what it means to make our world a better place.”
I-CAR Education Foundation