Meet Your Instructor
All of our Instructors are DMV licensed and bonded, but we go far beyond minimum requirements. Each Instructor is trained according to our internal Training Program developed over our years of experience, with continuous review at regular staff meetings and during training conferences with the Driving School Association of California. Many schools have just a few Instructors; we are proud of our experienced and diverse team whose commitment is to provide you with skills that will last a lifetime.
DAN TACKETT - PRINCIPAL INSTRUCTOR
Dan has devoted over 25 years to teaching precision driving, from European racetracks to California teenagers, from evaluating the driving abilities of seniors to winning a racing class championship. His background combines a Marketing degree and career in finance with a deep passion for driving to set very high standards as the Owner of the driving schools. Dan is the primary teacher of our Drivers Education classroom and also volunteers as Chief Instructor for the Tire Rack Street Survival® teen driving program and for the BMW Car Club. Dan's students get to learn their driving skills in a BMW 330i, probably the only BMW used for Driver Training in the San Diego area.
CESAR TACON - DMV OPERATOR
Cesar had a long career in automotive customer service before he applied his strong people skills to teaching new drivers the finer points of car control. As a long-time East County resident, Cesar is active in the community and has a good following due to his cheerful demeanor. He serves as the School's DMV Operator, with a special license to assure compliance with all regulations. Se habla Español. Cesar teaches in a 2010 Hyundai Elantra from our Green Teen fleet
PENNY ANDERS - DRIVING REHAB SPECIALIST
With 38 years of experience as a Physical Therapist, Penny is devoted to creating new possibilities for people with physical disabilities. For the last 11 years she has focused on training disabled drivers with a wide variety of special needs as part of the Sharp Healthcare network. Penny is DMV-licensed through American Driving School and teaches in both a Buick Park Avenue (with hand controls and a left-foot accelerator) and a new minivan equipped with 3 styles of hand controls and a wheelchair ramp.
Starting when he was just 21 years old, Demetrius gets lots of referral requests due to his relaxed but thorough style of teaching. He is recognized at East County high schools, speaking the language of teens and inspiring them with his positive attitude. Demetrius teaches in a 2007 Toyota from our Green Teen fleet.
Lyn enjoys teaching driving skills to people of all ages. Her love for driving spans 30 years, including managing a driving school office nearly 20 years ago. For Lyn, driver education is part of her family: her husband is a high school teacher with a driver’s education credential, and she is currently teaching two of her own teenage sons. Her passion is to help others to achieve their highest potential in their driving skills. Lyn instructs mostly in the inland North County in a 2010 Hyundai Sonata from our Green Teen fleet.
Prentiss blends his experience in corporate training with his love of all things automotive to teach teenagers driving skills in all types of weather at our Lake Tahoe branch. His talent for car control was refined on race tracks and snowy roads and over one million accident-free miles on Southern California's freeways, giving Prentiss the skills to pass along through this school and as a volunteer for the Tire Rack Street Survival® teen driving program. Prentiss teaches in a BMW 325xi all-wheel drive.
Jim has spent his many years as an Instructor developing a versatile approach to teaching drivers with widely different needs. As our in-house expert on disabled driver training, Jim's mid-sized Hyundai Sonata is equipped with removable hand controls. He understands the special requirements of senior drivers, providing patient instruction throughout San Diego County for seniors, teens and disabled drivers. Jim also teaches some of our Drivers Education classes.
Originally from the Buffalo New York area, Michael has many years of experience driving in snowy, inclement weather conditions. He has completed High Performance Driving Schools as well as working for Mercedes Benz driving high performance cars on closed circuits. Michael’s automotive knowledge and a love for driving in sunshine or snow come out in every lesson. His devoted following in North County brings lots of new Students who request Michael for his friendly and encouraging approach. He also instructs for advanced car control clinics, and teaches in a 2010 Hyundai Sonata from our Green Teen fleet during driver training lessons.
As the original founder of the American Driving School, Rick's vast experience as a professional instructor spans 30 years. He has personally instructed thousands of teenagers, plus commercial drivers of tractor-trailers, busses, passenger vans and limousines. Rick has developed programs for seniors and disabled drivers and currently manages our fleet driver training. He has taught Traffic Violator classes and Drivers Education, and is Board Member for training of the Driving School Association of California. Rick uses a Toyota Corolla or actual fleet vehicles during driving lessons.
Before starting with American Driving school, Connie pursued her interest in driver training through the BMW Car Club in both Autocross and High Performance Driving Schools. The techniques she learned there have directly helped her be a better driver, and more importantly a better instructor. Connie also is a professional graphics designer and has designed much of the specialized training material used by all the instructors. Connie uses a Volkswagen Jetta turbodiesel from our Green Teen fleet, the 2009 Green Car of the Year.
A 20-year veteran of the US Navy, Doug has been a licensed driving instructor for nearly 10 years. Doug has great experience with drivers of all ages, but he has developed a special bond with senior drivers who need encouragement and a brush- up to extend their driving freedom in their golden years. He and his wife are also very involved with their church. Doug teaches throughout a wide area of North County in a Hyundai Elantra.
DANA WILLISON - DRIVING REHAB SPECIALIST
specialized in teaching disabled drivers for 4 years, providing them
with new skills to bring mobility and freedom back into their lives. As
Occupational Therapist for 16 years, Dana has worked with drivers from
to those in senior years and many combat-wounded veterans. With her DMV
license at American Driving School and association with Sharp
teaches in both a Buick Park Avenue (with hand controls and a removable
foot accelerator) and a new minivan equipped with hand controls and
With over ten years of driving experience, Ryan has the right combination of strong skills for teaching and his youth to relate well to new teenage drivers . Ryan is quite accomplished with advanced car control, actively participating (and winning) in competitive driving events. Ryan volunteers as an Instructor for the Tire Rack Street Survival® teen driving program. He also has a motorcycle license and enjoys rides through San Diego's back country. Ryan uses a 2012 Ford Focus from our Green Teen fleet to teach good habits to new drivers.
Our Business Office is open weekdays from 9-5 to answer questions, schedule lesson appointments for all Instructors, and process credit card payments. Our Office staff includes Tina Morgan, Ryan Yost and Danielle Bybee, who work on different days to provide helpful support to our Driving School clients, and they are ready for your call.