High school trucking program instructor up for big award

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, May 2, 2024:

High school trucking program instructor up for big award

California's Patterson High School is the home base of Dave Dein and his well-known, in some ways pioneering, CDL truck driving instruction program for high school students.

Dein was recently honored as Teacher of the Year by the California chapter of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for his work teaching and promoting the trucking profession to Patterson students.

Dein's influence extends beyond just his local area, too. Since the 2017 start of the high-school trucking program as what might be the first such non-vocational-school program in the country, Dein developed model curricula being adopted and replicated elsewhere around the country

Dave Dein of Patterson High School with students during Wreaths Across AmericaDein's work with students sometimes extends beyond the classroom into the cultural touchstones around the wider trucking world. Here Dein (left) is shown in 2021 with then-current and other former students honoring Dein's father, Philip Dein, and other veterans at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery during that year's Wreaths Across America event.

Dein went on to advance in ACTE's Western region in the Teacher of the Year competition, and now will be one of five teachers competing for the national Teacher of the Year title. The program concludes in early December at the ACTE Vision Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

“Being chosen as the 2025 California ACTE Teacher of the Year was such an honor,” said Dein. “As I was presented with the award at this year’s Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento, it became extremely evident that it was covered with the fingerprints of those who greatly impacted me and allowed me to stand here on this stage. I share this award with all those who have made a lasting imprint on my life.”

Dein’s gift and passion for sharing his love of the road has inspired many to take up the work of trucking. Three years ago, Dein hopped back into a truck to raise money for the Next Generation in Trucking Association nonprofit he co-founded. In addition to developing model curricula mentioned above, the nonprofit also awards scholarships to students looking to attend truck driving schools across the country and works with schools to create and implement trucking programs like the one at Patterson High School.

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[Related: Next Generation in Trucking Foundation launches CDL curriculum for high schools]

Covenant names new COO

Covenant Logistics Group, Inc. (CCJ Top 250, No. 43) announced this week that Dustin Koehl has been appointed as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, effective May 13.

Koehl has more than 17 years of transportation experience, including senior leadership positions in operations and sales. 

“We are blessed to have Dustin join our leadership team,” said David R. Parker, Covenant’s Chairman and CEO. “I believe Dustin’s operational and sales experience, including his 12-year tenure at Total Transportation of Mississippi, will strengthen our leadership team. I look forward to Dustin and the rest of the leadership team driving forward our strategic initiatives, including continuing to diversify our business toward less commoditized niches.” 

Before joining Covenant this month, Koehl previously served as the Head of Commercialization at Waabi, an AI-centered self-driving truck developer, where he was responsible for customer adoption, transportation strategy, and safety. An active member of the transportation industry, Koehl is a partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Freight Lab and has served on several industry committees, including positions at the American Trucking Associations and the American Transportation Research Institute.

Free inspections offered ahead of Roadcheck

The Boss Truck Shop chain is offering free CVSA inspections the week before the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck.

Roadcheck is being held this year May 14-16 with a focus on the tractor protection controls in the air system, and alcohol and controlled substance possession.

During the week prior, May 5-12, drivers can get their trucks inspected for free at a Boss Truck Shop as an added layer of protection ahead of the enforcement blitz.

Boss Truck Shop locations can be found here.

[Related: Roadcheck puts trailer protection, substance abuse in its crosshairs]