For the past two decades or so, Dunwoody’s Automotive Department has celebrated the holiday season in a memorable way. The Warren Building is festively decorated; long banquet tables are packed with crock-pot treats; Toys for Tots donations are collected; and students celebrate the end of their final exams and presentations.
This year, however, the annual holiday potluck was even more special than usual as students, staff and faculty bid farewell to Automotive Dean Jon Kukachka who is set to retire January 15.
Kukachka leaves Dunwoody with fond memories
“The holiday potlucks are definitely something that Automotive graduates remember about their time here,” Kukachka said. “I am going to miss events like these. The students have always been very special to me.”
Kukachka–who has provided the College with over 30 years of service–has been the program’s dean since 2010.
“I have tried to be the kind of dean that students would not be afraid to talk to,” he said. “I wanted students to know that they could come to me about anything—good or bad—whatever was on their mind,” he said.
Faculty applaud student’s Toys for Tots donation
While the farewell was bittersweet, Kukachka was pleased to learn that the Automotive department did well in another Toys for Tots fundraiser.
“The department has been donating to Toys for Tots ever since Dunwoody got involved with the program in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s,” Kukachka said. “It has become a tradition that the Auto Department does well so every year we try to instill that drive into our students.”
This year a friendly competition was implemented throughout the College with a first place prize of $150 awarded to the department who raised the most dollars and/or collected the most toys.
During the potluck, Automotive donations were totaled, revealing a grand total of about $2,000 in cash and toys—more than any other department.
Program faculty decided to continue the season of giving by also donating their $150 winnings to the toy drive.
Kukachka says that this is the most the Automotive department has ever raised, making it a department—and quite possibly a Dunwoody—record.
Dunwoody College wishes Kukachka all the best
“This year’s potluck was very special to me,” Kukachka said.
“I will miss the people—both students and coworkers. I came here in 1980 wondering if I had made the right decision to change occupations. I know now that yes, I made the right decision to work at Dunwoody.”
On behalf of Dunwoody’s students, faculty and staff, the College wishes Kukachka all the best on his retirement.