Guy Tiberio

Tiberio Named Waubonsee “Fab 40” Alumnus

Waubonsee Community College has named Oswego East High School Automotive Technology Instructor Guy Tiberio as one of the college’s “Fab 40” alumni.
Sugar Grove — Working with his mechanic father while still in elementary school, Guy Tiberio was fascinated by cars from an early age. Tiberio has taken that interest and built a successful career as an automotive technology teacher at Oswego East High School and as a highly skilled mechanic. Waubonsee Community College is proud to honor him as one of the college’s “Fabulous 40” alumni.

As part of the college’s yearlong 40th anniversary celebration, Waubonsee is honoring 40 alumni and students who embody the mission, vision and values of the college. These individuals represent the diversity of Waubonsee’s students and the college district, as well as the diversity of the college’s mission as a comprehensive community college.

Since graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in 2004, Tiberio has built an award-winning automotive program from the ground up at Oswego East High School. He credits the guidance and support of Waubonsee automotive faculty members Ken Kunz and Jim Armitage for helping him make this opportunity possible.

“Ken Kunz convinced me to consider more schooling — to consider becoming a teacher — although I could have easily just gone ahead and joined the workforce out of Waubonsee,” Tiberio said. “It’s the best thing he could have done for me because without the extra schooling, I would not be where I am today. He made me realize that I had the potential to do more and pointed me in the right direction.”

Where Tiberio is, careerwise, is the envy of many a mechanic. In 2004, he was selected as Oswego East High School’s first automotive technology instructor. He developed a brand new curriculum and designed and assembled the automotive technology lab, rather than having to inherit someone else’s curriculum and setup.

“It’s a great school with great facilities,” he said. “It’s fantastic that I was able to set up the shop the way I saw fit.”

Kunz and Armitage recruited Tiberio, a 2000 graduate of Oswego High School, to attend Waubonsee. After touring several other automotive programs, the choice was clear for Tiberio.

“The faculty at Waubonsee were so impressive and so were the facilities,” he said. “The smaller class sizes and real-world work really made me want to come to Waubonsee.”

While at Waubonsee, Tiberio actively participated in extracurricular activities and represented the college at various automotive competitions. He served on the college’s Chi-Town Tear Down Competition Team for two years and as captain for one year; and on the SkillsUSA team for two years, placing first in the state in the automotive category. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization that helps prepare students for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

“We had a great group of guys in the program that would go to the competitions,” he said. “What’s amazing is that there wasn’t just one or two of us to come out of the program and be successful, but there were a lot of people in the program who are successful today.”

The competitive experience Tiberio gained at Waubonsee has served him well now that he is a mentor to his own automotive students. As part of his work at Oswego East High School, he sponsors the school’s Student Auto Club and coaches students as they prepare for the Chi-Town Tear Down competition held during the World of Wheels Custom Car Show each spring. In their first year of competition (2006), the Oswego East High School team placed second among the 20 participating high school teams. They competed again in 2007, placing in the top 10. He also had four of his students qualify for the state SkillsUSA automotive technology competition this year.

“My focus is on student success,” he said. “My students make me so proud. When they see success, it shows me that I’m doing a good job. For many of them, it’s just tapping into their unrealized potential. My parents definitely always pushed me in the right direction — to work hard for more — and told me that I was always capable of more. I’ve been given incredible opportunities, and it’s a great feeling to be able to give back.”

Tiberio graduated from Waubonsee in 2002 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in automotive technology. While enrolled at the college, he also obtained Certificates of Achievement in Automotive Brake and Suspension, Automotive Electrical/Electronics, Automotive Transmission and Driveline, Automotive Maintenance, and Engine Performance. He then transferred to Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology. Tiberio is also an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Certified Mechanic. He lives in Yorkville with his wife, Jessica.

“I owe my entire career to Waubonsee,” he said. “Had I not gone there, I would not have had the quality education that opened so many doors.”

Today, Tiberio serves on the Valley Education for Employment System (VALEES) and Waubonsee advisory boards for the automotive technology program. In August, he begins a two-year term as president of the VALEES Automotive Board, taking over for Kunz who is the current president. Tiberio also works at Finish Line Performance in Naperville, where he builds racecars, restores antique automobiles and performs other precise automotive repairs.

“I never thought I’d be where I am at today — especially at my age,” he said. “Most people are surprised when they meet me and see how much I’ve accomplished. That’s certainly a good feeling to have.”