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Gary Moskowitz While some might consider meticulously...

Gary Moskowitz

While some might consider meticulously cleaning the inside and

outside of a car tedious, menial work, others think of it as an art



The 18 students in Sam Mannino’s auto-detailing class at Hoover

High School this summer are learning the latter approach, based on

Mannino’s 30-plus years of experience as a professional detailer.

His belief is that many students want to learn more with hands-on


activities but aren’t always given the opportunity.

Mannino is known to some as “Sam the Detail Man,” a professional

automobile detailer and owner of his own line of detailing products,

but he is also a credentialed teacher who has taught at Glendale

Community College and in Burbank Unified.

“This is cosmetic surgery on cars. We take a vehicle that has not

been maintained and make it look like new,” Mannino said. “Not

everybody wants to work on computers. Some of us still like to work


with our hands and learn skills that can help us save money and

possibly earn extra income.”

Mannino’s students offer their services to Hoover faculty as well

as the community. They are “in class” from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday

through Friday and they learn how to clean cars on a professional

level by watching and doing, according to Mannino.

The group looks like a regular service crew, with cleaning

supplies and multiple towels in each hand. Not one of them isn’t


working or helping a classmate with something.

Learning about things like overhead costs has helped Armen

Aghyarian, 17, who has already started his own business J&A; Racing

--with his cousin.

“You can read books on things like auto detailing, but until you

actually do it physically, you won’t know. It’s not hard work but the

outcome is so cool,” Armen said. “I need to know stuff like this,

because it will help me with my own business more than American

History will.”

Jerry Watson, administrator of the district’s Regional Occupation

Program, said he hoped to link some of Mannino’s students to mentor

programs with some of the car dealerships on Brand Boulevard.

“We want to give teens pride in what they are doing as often as we

can,” Watson said.