Driver’s Ed offers experience on the road, in the classroom


It’s that time of the year for sophomores to attend driver’s education class. North’s driver’s education program gives their students the pathway to their license.
Sophomore Mikayla Gumapas is currently taking driver’s education at North and looking to get her license.

“Orginally l wanted to take it outside of school so l could start in the summer, but my parents wanted me to do it through the school. I am happy I chose to take it through the school because it has made it a lot easier for me with my basketball schedule,” Gumapas said.

North’s driver’s education program is different from other programs within the community.

“A lot of private schools will do your drives over four lessons. Whereas we try to spread it out at least over eight lessons. That way if a student is really struggling, they get several drives before they start to feel better behind the wheel,” said driver’s education teacher Tim Hough.

Despite the difference between the number of drives at private schools, all driver’s education programs still have the same requirements.

“Everyone has to have six hours of time behind the wheel with an approved instructor. Then they do fifty hours at home. However, you can’t use your six hours to count towards your fifty,” Hough said.

Outside of North’s program, students who are taking driver’s education elsewhere may experience a back up in scheduling their drives. Sophomore Dakota McLester is currently taking driver’s education at New Concepts Driving School in Grayslake.

“I was able to schedule my driver’s test before my final drive with them. My last drive was a month and a half after my previous drive which is not what l wanted,” McLester said. North does not have backups in scheduling a drive because it is based off of students’ schedules.

“We base it off of student availability. So they have three times that they could be available. Classroom driver’s education, a student’s lunch or Knights Block. Then we put everybody on a list for each period. We then take the oldest students who have their permits first and drive with them. As soon as they are done, we then take the next group,” Hough said.

Students also enjoy the length of the program because the class is not a full ninety minute period.

“It only takes half the class period and then we are free to leave. To me it’s like an extra Knight’s Block but shortened,” Gumapas said.

There are many people students can talk to if they want to join driver’s education.

“Myself, Mr. Strahan and Mr. McKillip all teach in the classroom and behind the wheel. Guidance is the actual people who are in charge of scheduling the classroom driver education, and behind the wheel we take care of,” Hough said.