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September 14, 2020

Orange Glen High School, California

Please join us in celebrating our August 2020 School on the Rise recipient, Orange Glen High School in Escondido, California! 

Orange Glen High School’s instructors have demonstrated uncompromising dedication to their students and it certainly reflects in the success of their CTE program. We were fortunate enough to speak with Marco Gamez, Orange Glen’s NC3 Campus Administrator and Automotive Technology Teacher, to learn more about their program.

Orange Glen High School has been an NC3 Certification Center since 2017 and – in the last three years – has increased their number of issued certifications by over 200%!

Marco Gamez has been a teacher at Orange Glen High School since 2009 and has built a CTE program that puts all aspects of education and career readiness in the forefront. Marco starts by saying, “Through our advisories, we get to talk to people from Ford, Chevy and Toyota as well as other people in the industry. One of the questions we ask them is what they’re looking for in terms of hiring people. They always have three answers: (1) someone that will show up on time, dress correctly and won’t be on their cell phone (2) someone who wants to be in that industry, and (3) someone who has knowledge of the tools.” Marco continues by stating, 

The driving force is to give the students the best leg up that I can give them, and NC3 Certifications seem to be the best way to do that.

Marco also acknowledges the benefits that earning industry certifications provides his students. He goes on to explain, “Snap-on is the most well-known tool company out there. Everybody knows who Snap-on is. When students enter the industry and they know how to use Snap-on tools, it’s a huge benefit for them. We’ve always given students CTE certifications saying that they know how to do oil changes and change brakes, for instance, but with NC3 Certifications, students are able to prove that they now have the same abilities as front-line mechanics. The industry recognizes that.” 

Marco also touches on the benefits of earning NC3 Certifications on a secondary level. Students are exposed to different career paths at a younger age so they can make informed career decisions based on their interests. He explains,

Offering NC3 Certifications to secondary students gives them the opportunity to apply for jobs right out of high school if they choose not to attend college. They also show students what else is out there. At such a young age, many students don’t know exactly what career path to choose. NC3 Certifications offer them an inside view of the industry.

If students do choose to attend college, Orange Glen High School has partnered with Palomar Community College to offer their students introductory automotive courses that apply towards college credits. 

Orange Glen High School also offers their students a unique opportunity to teach their peers through their Student Leadership Program. Orange Glen’s third year automotive students are able to lead small groups in peer education. Marco explains,

Through our Student Leadership Program, our first year students are able to learn from student leaders in a way that allows them to absorb the material in a different way. Our students get invested into the program and are excited about taking on a leadership role. They can take the skills they’ve learned from our leadership program and apply it to a potential career.

Students that participate in Orange Glen High School’s Student Leadership Program create videos to teach other students how to operate a machine of their choice. A wonderful example of one of these videos can be viewed here.

So, what’s next for Orange Glen High School’s certification program, you ask? Marco’s answer is simple… to grow! He states, “We hope to get our students through as many certifications that are within their interests as possible. I have a lot of students that may not choose to be in the automotive field, so I’m hoping to expand our certifications to apply to other industries as well.”

Thank you, Orange Glen High School, for being an exemplary NC3 Certification Center! We’re proud to award you the designation of NC3’s August School on the Rise and we’re excited to watch you grow even more!


Stay tuned for our next School on the Rise recipient in September 2020!

Questions about NC3’s School on the Rise? Please contact Erika Staackmann, Customer Success Coordinator, 847.533.6985,

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