Columbia River Driver Education came about when we discovered that driver education wasn't an option for our two girls who were attending Saint Helens High School. That's when we realized that Scappoose was the only high school in Columbia County that had a driver education program.
After deciding to teach our girls on our own and struggling through that process, we discovered that there was a significant wait time to schedule a driving test at the local DMV. The testers were working hard but were overwhelmed by the demand.
Having retired recently from a career in technology, I decided to get licensed to teach driver education. How hard could it be? After all, I had been driving for 40 years. I thought it would be a piece of cake… I could not have been more wrong.
First, my eyes were opened to the incredible risks associated with driving. Then I learned about so many techniques that have changed since I first learned to drive. Finally, I was exposed to a whole new vocabulary and method of teaching that changed my life. The impact on me was so great that my wife decided to go through the instructor licensing process herself (all while continuing her full-time career in the technology field).
We partnered with ODEC to start a program at Saint Helens High School in October 2018. We have since expanded the program to Rainier High School. The numbers in Columbia County were small, but the classes are very enthusiastic.
In Spring 2019, ODEC and I decided that the best path forward was for us to start our own company, where we had more direct influence over pricing, scheduling, and customer interaction. The response has been humbling and gratifying. We live in Columbia County and are committed to providing year-round, quality driver education to this community.