Our team consists of diverse and dynamic individuals who are committed to our mission, vision and to you. Our instructors help us make a difference in the life of your teenager.
Lead instructor: Ken Frederick
- Role: Ken has a knack for encouraging students to think and drive. He helps students bridge the gap from receiving commands from an experienced driver (parent), to mentally and physically; recognizing, understanding and solving problems, then initiating good driving techniques to stay safe on the highway. When combining this with other driving skills Ken teaches, the student develops self confidence and motoring confidence to drive safely.
- Qualifications and Expertise: From his childhood days in the rural coalfields, Ken has developed a mechanical aptitude to understand machines, particularly the automobile. He developed a love for the automobile and driving when he was very young. While studying electrical engineering at PennState, Ken learned much in the way of physics and the dynamics of materials and motion. After his service in the U.S. Army, he chose to pursue a career in law enforcement and worked for 21 years at the Lynchburg Virginia Police Department where investigating crashes was a daily event. It was during this time Ken received his BS degree in sociology from Averett University in Danville, VA. His talents and skills have allowed him to teach in many venues including the police academy and the DARE program in the public and private schools. In 2006 Ken co-founded and became a co-owner of Academy of Driving in Lynchburg where he teaches basic driver education both in the classroom and in the car.
- Inspiration: Ken’s willingness to share his knowledge and skills is motivated by: 1) His experiences of past events that have gone bad for others, 2) His understanding of the limitations of current driver education programs in America and 3) The need to vastly improve our driver education curricula in the future. Ken rarely misses an opportunity to appropriately speak to parents of small children and remind them that their children will be watching them drive as they grow and will only have the references displayed by mom and dad when they get behind the wheel. In his words, Ken wants to stop the senseless crashes, injuries and deaths on our highways. He sees today’s teens and their willing parents as the place to build this much needed strong foundation.
In-car Instructor: Dan Buckle
- Role: Dan organizes and leads Instructors, teens and parents through their TDSS experience so they get the most out of their time in the cars. He is also an in-car Instructor and will jump in and ride along with Instructors and students to evaluate the experience and gain first-hand knowledge on how to keep improving our school.
- Qualifications and Expertise: Dan has been on track racing and instructing since the mid-90’s; is a Porsche National Instructor, Classroom Instructor and has instructed in all types of vehicles from a Toyota Prius to a Ferrari 458. He has run driving events, schools and corporate functions for clients throughout the Southeast and enjoys the challenge of orchestrating large groups of drivers to make their learning experience run smoothly and efficiently.
- Inspiration: “I learned very early on that people learn in different ways and I’ve found I enjoy helping each individual connect with their driving to achieve that ‘Aha!’ moment when what I’ve been helping them learn all comes together for them. What better place to see that than in new drivers who will take that out into the world and use it everyday to keep themselves and others safe on the road? I love it!”
- Role: Blake is an in-car instructor for both teens and parents. His focus is to engage students, build confidence and share examples of how the principles learned can apply to everyday life.
- Qualifications and Expertise: Blake has provided in-car instruction for many regional organizations since 2004. He strives to equip students with the ability to anticipate and then mitigate risk.
- Inspiration: “Sharing my love of driving with students is very satisfying. Every student is different, and the progress they can make in just a day or two is amazing. It is incredible to think that I can have a positive influence on someone for years to come.”
In-car Instructor: Brian Wright
- Role: My role as an instructor is to equip my students for real, unexpected driving scenarios which present themselves every day. I teach awareness, preparation and the understanding of vehicle dynamics to arrive alive.
- Qualifications & Expertise: I’ve been driving on the roads for 25 years and competitively for 17 years. I started my journey with autocross, progressed to on-track driving schools and am currently racing in SCCA’s Spec Miata Class. I began instructing teens through the TDSS in 2012.
- Inspiration: I love cars, driving and racing. Continuing to improve my driving skills and car control is thrilling. I realize now how little I knew when I was “invincible.” Having the chance to give that knowledge and experience to today’s teens is truly rewarding. Knowing that these lessons can prevent accidents and save lives is epic.
In-car instructor: Paul Garrett
- Role: My role as Instructor at TDSS is to communicate and demonstrate the best defensive driving techniques to my students in the safest possible way. Teaching in-car methods to prevent accidents from ever happening is my ultimate goal. I also want the students to have fun as they learn from me.
- Qualifications and Expertise: Following college, I spent several years working as an Engineer in the aerospace industry. This prepared me for a career in sales, marketing and General Management in a global Chemical Industry. Interfacing and communicating with very diverse clients worldwide is a critical skill I developed throughout my career. These skills are directly applicable to instructing teen students, the ability to “connect” with them. I have enjoyed over 15 years of in-car instruction for all levels of experience and expertise.
- Inspiration: I have always had a passion for cars as one of my hobbies. Teaching safe, accident prevention techniques to teenagers is my way of giving back to the community . I love working with young adults, especially in preparing them to “arrive alive”. If I can be a factor in saving one life or preventing one serious traffic accident I will have accomplished my goal.