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Sara Heller of Rockaway, coordinator of Raritan Valley Community College’s Automotive Technology program, was recently honored with a national achievement award as the CCAR/Electude/ASE Instructor of the Year.

Heller was among 52 automotive professionals recognized at the board of governors meeting of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in San Diego on Nov. 17. ASE partners with Electude and the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR) to spotlight automotive technology education.

Charlie Ayers, president of CCAR; Matt Bishop, business development manager at Electude; Brad Pellman, chair of the ASE board of directors; and Timothy Zilke, ASE president and CEO, presented the award to Heller.

Zilke praised Heller as one of the “outstanding ASE-certified professionals recognized annually by different segments of the automotive service and repair industry.”

An ASE-certified automotive technician with experience working in the automotive field, Heller is currently in her fourth year as an instructor at RVCC in Branchburg. Previously, she was an instructor/coordinator for Middlesex County College (now Middlesex College) and an automotive teacher at many high schools throughout New York state.

Heller received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Queens College and a master’s degree in Special Education from Cappella University. She also holds various licenses and certifications in the automotive field.

“ASE has honored extraordinary industry professionals from across the nation for more than 40 years,” Zilke said. “This is made possible by the support of our many award sponsors, whose ranks include some of the best-known names in the industry.

“We are proud to partner with CCAR and Electude to recognize Sara’s commitment to excellence in providing the very best in automotive service and repair. This dedication is reflected in the talented professionals we recognize each year and Sara represents the best of the best.”

Thirty-three companies sponsored the individual technician recognition awards in the Auto, Truck, Collision, Parts and Service categories, along with awards for instructors. In addition to looking for top scores on ASE tests, award sponsors examine on-the-job excellence, community service, and other factors when selecting honorees.

Photo Caption: RVCC Automotive Technology Coordinator Sara Heller, center, is presented with the CCAR/Electude/ASE Instructor of the Year award by, from left, Brad Pellman, chair of the ASE board of directors; Charlie Ayers, president of CCAR; Matt Bishop, business development manager, Electude; and Timothy Zilke, ASE president and CEO.