Each month, The Spoke will recognize Greenpower people from around the world. If you want to recommend a GP person for a recognition, email email@example.com.
High School Driver of the Month
Grissom H.S. – Car: Shadow
John is the brother of James Rodgers who was one of three drivers that brought Grissom Greenpower its first F24 Advanced Modified win at James Clemens High School during the 2017-2018 season (James is now at Auburn University). He has driven for Mountain Gap Middle School, Team USA and Rocket City Racing prior to joining Grissom’s Team this year. John and his fellow drivers have two wins, three second place finishes and a third place finish this season.
John is a junior at Grissom High School and is the rising Executive Officer for the US Army’s JROTC Tiger Battalion. He is the Commander of the Coed Military Skills Team.
John races Mazda Miatas as a hobby. John also drives for Grissom Greenpower, Team Genesis – #13, F24 Advanced Custom.
High School Crew Member of the Month
Harlem H.S. – Racing Bulldogs
Mykael Taylor should be called Lewis Hamilton Jr. He is an incredibly smooth, smart, and fast Greenpower driver. He picks great lines through corners which allow the car to maintain its momentum and rarely gets himself caught up behind slower cars. Mykael not only is a great driver for Harlem, he is our team leader. He is always helpful, polite, and respectful to others. Everyone who meets him is always telling me…”Wow, what a great young man, he is super, yet quietly humble.” Even at school, he is always available to help teachers prepare for the many activities that go on in a high school. I have never heard a teacher say anything negative about Mykael. For me, I will miss him very much after he graduates in May. It will be an honor to see him graduate knowing that this young man will be doing some great things with his life! Recommended by Coach David Thibodeau
High School Team of the Month
San Benito H.S., Vibranium
San Benito, TX
Vibranium is the name of the car for the San Benito Greyhound Motor Sports boys’ team. In 2016, San Benito was one of the original three teams in the state of Texas to step up and undertake the Greenpower Initiative. Since then, we have raced, successfully completing the 90 minute races in Huntsville, AL (Toyota Classic); LaGrange, GA (Diverse Power); Brownsville, TX (UTRGV-HESTEC 2 years); San Benito, TX (Murphy Races 3 years); and Houston, TX (Texas Greenpower). We have been instrumental in building up the Greenpower Program in Texas by showcasing our car at a variety of community events in the Rio Grande Valley; talking with various community leaders and schools throughout Texas about the benefits of Greenpower to students and community businesses; and initiating the Murphy Races to help any Valley team interested in developing confidence and safety awareness in racing situations in a smaller, fun environment, as well as critical analysis and thinking skills when something is going wrong during a race. The team from left to right consists of Santos Guzman (Sr), Rey Ruvalcaba (Sr), Fabian Andrade (Soph), and Aaron Ibarra (Sr). Vibranium was the overall winner this week at the Texas Greenpower F-24 Race in Houston. – Submitted by Coach Mary Maney
Middle School Driver of the Month
Challenger Middle School – Eagles
Rylan McCreery is a good candidate for driver of the month due to the fact that he gives 110% to the team, both in the driver’s seat and the classroom. Rylan has been on the Challenger Eagles 89 team for two years straight. Not only has he driven in every one of our races, he has driven for the largest chunk of time each race. He has sacrificed and driven for 40+ minute stretches for most of his races and has even driven first and third when we were short a driver. Rylan has also stepped up to lead the team this year as team manager. He rallies the team when needed and helps make decisions. He also leads the videos and presentations. Challenger will miss him as he moves up to High school next year! – Submitted by Coach Teri Mitchell
Middle School Crew Member of the Month
Meridianville M.S. – Car: The Bandit
Paige has been great to have on the team. She helps out anywhere that is needed, and she makes decisions based on what we need. She is always happy and tries to keep everyone working and motivated. She doesn’t give up in the pit. She encourages everyone to keep trying even when something goes wrong. I know that I can count on Paige to keep this team going even when she seems to be under pressure.
– Paige was nominated by her coach, Mrs. Wendie Sue Hammond
Middle School Team of the Month
Gulf Shores M.S. – Turbo Dolphins
Gulf Shores, AL
Elementary Crew Member of the Month
Hampton Cove E.S. – Hybrid Hawks
Connor has a great attitude and gives 100% at Greenpower practices. He has shown up to all meetings and events, ready to do whatever job is given to him. Even with a broken arm, Connor was ready to do work. Connor has great team spirit, in which he shares with his teammates. He encourages the others on the team to get excited about the program. His enthusiasm and dedication to the Hybrid Hawks Greenpower team has made him standout, and worthy of being recognized. I am proud to have Connor on our team, and I can’t wait to follow his future in the Greenpower program! – Coach Courtney Hoven
International Team of the Month
St. Paul’s School – Sau Paulo, Brazil
GreenPower is one of the most ambitious and successful projects in our entire school. Building something, let alone a functioning car, is no easy feat; full of intricate systems and complicated procedures, starting from scratch proved to be troublesome, but remarkably fulfilling.
The team started a couple of years ago, when two extremely ambitious senior students found out about a challenging competition; “Build an electric car.” Where to begin? What to do? Starting with no help whatsoever is tough, and more, with no one’s support; because seriously, who would believe two 17 year-old students would be able to compete with universities and companies in an engineering-related competition? “Let’s be realistic guys”, they said. “Try doing something else”.
The truth is that the hardest part of journey wasn’t actually building the car, but the connections, and all relationships we had to construct throughout our campaign. Raising more than R$100,000 over the course of last year, is something that we would have never sound possible some time ago. Not only did it prove to be an extremely scientific project, but above all, a business conundrum. It is a huge responsibility that taught the entire team how to important are the relationships you preserve throughout the years.
Coach of the Month
Manti High School, Manti Utah
Coach Ben Schoppe began his career at Manti High School 21 years ago as an Automotive Mechanics teacher after receiving B.S. from USU in Agriculture Education with Biological Science endorsement. He eventually picked up the Ag Mechanics and welding courses. The Greenpower car landed in his lap because it required hands on construction. He attended a workshop that summer where the F24 kits were delivered.
The following school year he involved students in an Agriculture Mechanics class and began enhancing and modifying the F24 car for the inaugural Utah race. This race was initially going to be held on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Manti High Schools Greenpower crew was excited about the event. Ultimately the inaugural race site was relocated to the Wendover Air Field where the Enola Gay is stored. His team won the race. After that, they competed at the Utah Motorsports Campus and won that event also. His team also competed at Indy, which is a remarkable thing for any team.