Scott Tibbetts of South Paris is studying automotive technology at Oxford Hills Technology School in Paris. Submitted photo

PARIS — Scott Tibbetts of South Paris, a senior at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, he already has years of work experience in his chosen field and plans for his future career.

“I’ve always liked working on things,” Tibbetts said, easily summing up his skills and goals. “It started when I was probably 12 or 13. I drove a race car at Speedway 51 in Groveton, New Hampshire. So when I found out about the race car program at the middle school I was like, ‘yeah, that’s what I want to do!’”

The program Tibbetts refers to was part of Quest Day at Oxford Hills Middle School, taking part in building a car that was eventually driven at Oxford Plains Speedway by Scott Luce of Strong. The group included students with diverse interests: mechanics like Tibbetts, sales and marketing representatives for fundraising and designers that created the car’s graphics, among others.

“We pretty much built it from the ground up,” he said. “It was a superlite model car, with a Chevy motor.”

Disappointed to learn as he graduated eighth grade and moved on to high school could not sign up for technical school classes until his sophomore year, Tibbetts was allowed to continue with the middle school’s Quest Day through ninth grade so he could continue working on mechanics.

When Tibbetts got to the automotive program at Oxford Hills Technical School, which is within the high school, he was just excited to jump in and learn whatever he could. School Administrative District 17 teachers offer their own vehicles for the students to use for class so he got the opportunity to work on all kinds of different passenger cars and trucks.

He is working on drivetrains at the Technical School, tearing into parts and learning new things about working on them. He is rebuilding a Chevy 350-cubic-inch motor that has been built and dismantled at the school several times.

His favorite automotive work, however, is diesel and heavy equipment. Diesel vehicles only come through the school occasionally, but he has been able to apply his skills on big trucks at his after-school job, All Mobile Equipment in Harrison. He attends school first, and heads to independent study after.

Oxford Hills Technical School senior Scott Tibbetts of South Paris plans to get certified in heavy diesel equipment after he graduates this year. Supplied image

“I enjoy diesels a lot more than the smaller vehicles,” Tibbetts said. “For one, the pay is better.

“I do pretty much everything there. Brake jobs, maintenance. We have a contract to service Estes Express Lines in Lewiston. They call us and we go down there to take care of their trucks and trailers, figure out what’s wrong with them.”

Tibbetts likes the challenge of mobile service. He works with another employee on service calls for Estes while his boss’ main client is Lucas Tree.

“You never know what you’re coming into,” he said. “It might take 10 minutes; it might take a couple days. You have to guess what you might need before you go down there.

“I’m pretty much full time with All Mobile. On Mondays I have Zoom meetings at the beginning and end of the day, and Thursday I am in school all day.”

When he’s not under the hoods of vehicles in school or trucks on the road, Tibbetts takes the driver’s seat – riding snowmobiles, motorcycles, and his family’s side-by-side. He also enjoys hunting and fishing.

Tibbetts is one of the lucky students who have not been heavily affected by going to school during the pandemic, since so much of his education is outside of the classroom.

“It’s actually kind of worked out in my favor,” he said. “I can still go to work, make money and still go to school.”

After Tibbetts graduates in June his next education stop will be at White Mountains Community College in Berlin, New Hampshire, where he is enrolled in the heavy diesel equipment certification program. He will continue working in Harrison, but his plans for the future include opening his own repair shop for heavy trucks.


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