Center News /
July 1, 2021

2021 TCOE Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to all of the well deserving individuals below! We thank you for all of the hard work you put in to make a difference in our student’s lives. We are proud to sponsor these awards to showcase all of the wonderful work happening across our state! A formal presentation of these awards will take place at the MTTIA conference this August.


Leanne Pearson
St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Leanne grew up in the small town of Garrison, Minnesota with her brother and sister. She graduated high school in 2004 and moved to St. Cloud to attend the Auto Body program at St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC). Leanne graduated in the spring of 2006 with her diploma and went to work at a truck shop as an Auto Body Technician for just under a year. After that she switched jobs to become a painter prep and did that for two and half years. She decided to go back to school to obtain a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Sales and graduated with her A.A.S in the spring of 2012. After this, Leanne went back into the auto body field as a shop assistant. A Lab Assistant position opened up at SCTCC in the Auto Body program and she has been working there now for six and a half years. Leanne loves her job, enjoys everyone she works with, and she especially enjoys helping the students!

Leanne got married in 2014 and now has a son who is three and a daughter who is two years old this July. She loves being outside with her family, playing sports, swimming and going on different adventures. They recently made the move to Rice, Minnesota and are loving their new home. In Leanne’s free time she loves to garden, spending time with family, and spending her summer with the kids. 


Kevin Hyduke
Hibbing Community College, Automotive Technology Program

Kevin graduated high school in 1992 in Hibbing and enrolled in the Automotive program in Hibbing at Range Technical College (what is now Hibbing Community College). Then, he went to Alexandria Technical College and took a Driveability program. Kevin knew early on that he wanted to work for Saturn and was lucky enough to be hired at Saturn of St. Paul. Over his 18 years with Saturn, he worked as a technician, service writer, and a service manager. Ironically, the one thing he didn’t plan in his life was becoming a teacher. Kevin grew to realize that helping people was where his passion was and that cars were just the vehicle that he used. Taking over for his college instructor seemed surreal to Kevin, he remembers believing that his teachers were pure masters of everything automotive. Kevin has been surrounded with great mentors from his parents, teachers, coworkers, and bosses. And for that, he feels incredibly fortunate!

In his personal life Kevin enjoys spending time with his family at the cabin, coaching the college trap shooting team, and coaching girls high school hockey. 


Wayne Trenholm
Hibbing Community College, Automotive Technology Program

Wayne Trenholm has been in the automotive and transportation industry for 37 years. Wayne attended Dunwoody Industrial Institute (Minneapolis, MN) while enlisted in the US Army Reserve (Duluth, MN) as a light wheeled vehicle mechanic. Wayne has worked full time in the automotive industry as a technician for independent and local area automotive dealerships. He was a Service Manager for approximately 18 months prior to taking his current position as Automotive Instructor at Hibbing Community College.  Wayne has been an active member of the Makinen Volunteer Fire Department since 1995.  Wayne’s hobbies include farming, staying at “the shack” and playing cribbage, and searching for the next Mopar to add to his fleet.


Dale DeRung
St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Dale attended Willmar Area Vocational Institute in Willmar, MN, he started working at a shop in North Minneapolis and soon realized the big city was not for him. Dale returned to his home town Morris, MN, working at a local shop and eventually starting and operating his own body shop in Hancock, MN for ten years. He had heard about an instructors position open at St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) and decided to apply. Dale was fortunate enough to get the position and ended up teaching at SCTCC for 31 years. He has been involved with SkillsUSA, I-Car, and many other collision related organizations. 

Dale has been married to his wife Karen for 46 years, they have three children, Kristi, Cheryl and Andrew, and four grandchildren.  


Jeff Schneider
Moorhead High School

Jeff has always had an interest in creating, constructing, and improving things. It started with his Lego City in the late 1980’s and has progressed into a passion for teaching students about rewarding careers in trades and industry. He has been teaching at Moorhead High School for fifteen years and has taught classes in many disciplines across the trades, with a special enthusiasm for Power Equipment Repair and Welding. He is active in his district as a member rights representative and department chairperson and also makes time to coach Girl’s & Boy’s Swimming and Diving, SkillsUSA, and the Supermileage team.

Jeff doesn’t just teach welding and power equipment repair curricula, he understands the value of sharing amazing opportunities for students in the trades by having specialists and guests regularly visit his classes. These range from the Armed Forces to Trades Unions, and those days give students the opportunity to interact with people that work in their field which, in turn, allows the students to really think about their future career choices. Jeff works tirelessly to improve the chances of success for all students and has been a leader at Moorhead High School in showing that a skilled trade career can be a great way to make a living.


Amanda Griffin
Minnesota State College Southeast

Amanda Griffin is the lead Automotive Instructor at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona, Minnesota. She was born and raised on a farm just outside of Lewiston, Minnesota. This is where she learned the importance of hard work and that you can do anything you put your mind and heart into.  Amanda started working in the automotive industry her junior year of high school and after graduating she attended Minnesota State College Southeast and received her diploma in the Automotive Technology Program.  She continued in the program as a lab assistant while taking other courses at the college to receive her Associate of Science in Individualized Studies.  During her time of assisting in the lab, she realized how much she really enjoyed teaching and helping students.   Amanda decided to continue in the automotive industry and gain as much knowledge as she could.  Along the way, she has obtained about 15 years of experience in industry in both dealership and independent repair shop settings.  She is just finishing up her Bachelors of Science in Career and Technical Education at UW Stout, Menomonie, and feels fortunate to have found her way back to Southeast College once again.

Amanda wants to share what she has learned along the way and to continue to learn and grow herself.  Her goal is to use her industry experiences and education to help students obtain a well-rounded industry based education, and to be successful and honest in the automotive industry.  None if this she says would have ever been accomplished if it wasn’t for all of the help and support along the way from friends, family, employers, and coworkers.

“There is no greater reward than that of a student learning and using what you have taught them”


Judell Anderson

Judell has over 30 years’ experience in association management, including 25 in her current position as Executive Director of AASP-MN.  700 members strong, AASP-MN is regarded as one of the premier state automotive associations in the country. 

Under Judell’s leadership, AASP-MN has been a strong advocate at the State Capitol, achieving significant legislative victories for the industry. In addition to providing continuing education and an extensive menu of other benefits and services for its members, in recent years, the Association has taken a leadership role in addressing the industry’s workforce shortage through its MNCARS (MN Careers in Auto Repair & Service) initiative and scholarship program.  

Judell has also been active in I-CAR, SkillsUSA and a multitude of high school and college auto advisory committees and industry work groups at the national and local level.  

Judell has announced that she’ll be retiring at the end of this year.

OF THE YEAR – Business

Brenny Transportation

Brenny Transportation, Inc. was founded in 1996 because Joyce and Todd Brenny wanted to be part of a company that treated people with respect, a company which honored champion character with a team driven to serve! Brenny has grown because of the company’s superior respect for their team member’s needs, as well as honoring and rewarding the hard work and dedication of their champion team members.