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Ken's Blog

In 1961 my favorite sister was killed in a head on car crash in Ventura County (The Rincon). I was 15 and just learning to drive myself. This was my first experience with death of a loved one and it had a profound affect on my life.

I vowed to get all the unsafe drivers off the road. When I was 21 I applied to The California Highway Patrol to accomplish this task. Although I passed all their tests, I was rejected. They thought that my work and school record showed a certain level of uncertainty and immaturity. This was of course true, but still it hurt my feelings, and I pouted for several months.

At 24 years of age (1970) I found myself married, with a baby on the way and not a lot of income. I was thinking of getting a second job and upon talking this over with a co-worker she said that her husband was a driving teacher and he was making more in a week than I was in a month. Later I found out that this was not exactly true and that he was working 7 days a week and 12 and 14 hour days.

I thought, I could teach driving. I was a good driver, I liked driving and I had a background driving gasoline tanker trucks. I thought I would be a natural. I was very surprised while in training when my trainer said that I couldn't even make a decent left turn, how would I be able to teach it! Was I ever insulted! Looking back, I see how true that statement was. I was sloppy, clumsy and mostly surviving by luck (like most drivers).

Luckily the company I worked for was the second largest in the country and had a great training program. The first week they taught us how to drive like experts, I really liked this idea, and the second week they taught us how to teach, giving us a lesson plan and sequence to follow that seemed to work really well.

I was hooked after my first lesson. I instantly knew that I could be one of the best and within 6 months I had advanced into a supervisor training position. Now I had a crew of 10 to 12 instructors working under my tutelage. From observing hundreds of lesson both good and bad I really learned a lot. What worked well and what didn't work.

Even though I was becoming quite talented, my pay was not what I had hoped for and I frequently ended up working long hours and 6 or 7 days a week. After two and a half years of working for "America's Largest" and "Second Largest" I decided to open my own driving school.

I started charging $11 per hour. This was 90 cents an hour less than my biggest competitor. It didn't take long before I realized that I would attract more customers by matching or exceeding the highest rate school. It took courage but it worked. I've had my ups and downs as a Driving School Owner and Operator but it has been my life's work and part of my mission to get rid of the bad drivers by producing good drivers.

It is in order to celebrate my beautiful sister's short life (she was just 23) and also to ensure that others might not face similar painful tragedies, I have personally trained thousands of new, experienced drivers and driving teachers. Unfortunately there are still many drivers that need more training. The trick is to convince them of that fact.

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Showing comments 1 to 10 of 148 | Next | Last
Santosh Maharjan
Posts: 148
Keep up the good work
Reply #148 on : Tue June 16, 2015, 15:34:55
Wish you all the best Ken. Keep up the good work.
Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 15:37:54 by admin  
Showing comments 1 to 10 of 148 | Next | Last


"They taught me to drive like a champ!"
-Tobias Tune

"Thanks to Sunshine Driving School I aced my drivers test on the first try...with compliments from the examiner for avoiding and accident with remarkable reflexes!"
-Akka B, Poet

Oakland "This man taught me to drive when I first came to this country. Triple AAA+++, thank you Ken, for all your safe driving tips and your patience with me. Now I love to drive!"
-Indu Kline

"Ken is a great teacher. I was only 26 years old when I took his program. I had just come from New York and had never needed a car. Ken's instruction insured that I became a safe and happy driver! Thanks Ken!"
-Marilyn Mosley-Goranier: Educator, Ojai

"Ken taught me to drive in a month and a half at age 32. He also taught both of my children to drive. My daughter went on to drive buses while attending U.C. Santa Cruz. He is the best!"
-Jessica Watling-Murray

If you want to learn to drive this is the place to call! The skills you will gain will last a l lifetime. I have proof!
-Asha Tyska McLaughlin

"My daughter was 21 and was too scared to learn to drive. Sunshine Driving School was the only place where she felt safe enough to learn. Now she's a confident and safe driver. Thank you!"
-Debbie Godfrey, self employed

Ken and Sunshine Driving School were the best things that could have happened to me during learning to drive experience. After a horrible set of lessons from another local driving school, after which I vowed I would never drive again, Ken reestablished my confidence in my driving abilities. His calm demeanor assured me that I was always safe, and his encouragement (and occasional humor) helped me learn in a positive and constructive way. Folks, Ken is undoubtedly one of the best driving teachers out there. His experience shows in every lesson and interaction. It was a pleasure and honor to learn how to drive from Ken, especially after encountering the worst. Heck, I even passed my test first try!

I hope that this suffices! I could probably write you an in-depth 5 page paper if you really wanted it. I'm thinking a catchy title would be: KEN CORNELIUS, PRAISE BE UNTO HIM! :) hahaha.

I hope that you and all of your family is doing well. I recommend you to EVERYONE! Truly!

Best wishes always,
Olivia, Thacher Student

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