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Arlee teacher earns national recognition

News from the National Driver Ed Teachers Association and the National Road Safety Foundation

NEW YORK —  Five driver education teachers from Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Vermont have been selected by their peers in the American Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA) as Teachers of Excellence. The teachers, chosen by their peers, will receive the Teacher Excellence Award in July at the ADTSEA national conference in Chicago. The award carries with it a cash stipend from The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit group that creates driver safety education materials and makes them available at no cost to teachers and schools, police, traffic safety advocates and youth organizations.  

The 2018 Teachers of Excellence are Kel Hirohata, who teaches at Waipahu H.S. in Waipahu, Hawaii; Andrew Unseth, who teaches in the public schools in Shakopee, Minn.; Susan Carney Lammerding, a teacher in the Arlee School District, Arlee, Mont.; Dale Ludwig, who teaches in the Minot Public Schools in Minot, North Dakota; and Richard Ritter, an instructor at the Vermont Green Driving School in Burlington, Vermont.

David Reich, public relations director of The National Road Safety Foundation and a member of the ADTSEA Board of Directors, said, “Driving instructors are a dedicated and passionate group whose mission is to save lives and prevent needless tragedy by helping young people learn how to drive safely and responsibly. The teachers being honored with the Teacher Excellence Award this year have set impressive examples of creativity and enthusiasm in the important work they do.” 

When Susan Carney Lammerding’s son took driver ed nearly 20 years ago, there were no local driver ed instructors. She had already been teaching in the school system for 10 years, so she did additional studies in traffic safety education at Montana State and became the classroom and behind-the-wheel driving teacher for the Arlee school in 2001. In 2014, she also became an adjunct professor at Montana State, helping teachers become driver education instructors. She is a strong believer in having parents as effective partners in the driver education process.

The Teacher Excellence Awards, given by The National Road Safety Foundation, are named in memory of Dr. Francis Kenel, a traffic safety engineer, former director of the AAA, author of driver ed teacher training materials and a mentor to countless driver education instructors. 

The American Driver and Traffic Safety Education is the professional association that represents traffic safety educators throughout the United States. As a national advocate for quality traffic safety education, the group creates and publishes policies and guidelines for driver ed and conducts conferences and workshops for teachers. It was instrumental in creating the new driver education curriculum standard issued recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), a non-profit organization, has supported ADTSEA’s Teacher Excellence Awards program for nine years. For more than 55 years, NRSF has created driver education programs and materials for free distribution to teachers, police, traffic safety agencies, youth advocacy groups and others.  NRSF has programs on distraction, speed and aggression, drinking and driving, and drowsy driving. The group also sponsors contests for teens in partnership with SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), NOYS, FCCLA and Scholastic, as well as regional teen contests in partnership with auto shows in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. To view and download free programs and for more information, visit or


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