Brook Ashinay is the General Manager and Lead Instructor at Safety First Driving School. He is also a Lead Tester and Trainer, licensed and certified by the State of Washington. Brook obtained his driving instructor certificate while pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Safety and Health Management with a minor in Business Administration from Central Washington University. It was after he received his degree he realized how fascinated he was by the attitudes, values, and risk behaviors of his fellow drivers. Because he also worked on various projects studying the learning patterns of different personalities and age groups, Brook was able to quickly apply the theoretical knowledge to practical life creating a positive atmosphere for learning and connecting almost immediately with his students.
Susan Grayce has a BA in Communications and enjoys working with new drivers of all ages. A former classroom teacher who now focuses on the business of Safety First Driving School, Susan misses the kids in class, the behind-the-wheel lessons, and working downtown with new drivers.
With more than four years experience teaching defensive driving techniques to teen drivers for the National Safety Council, she is well-versed on the subject of student drivers and how to teach them good driving habits.
Jennifer Shelepet is usually the first person you meet at Safety First Driving School. She answers your questions on the phone and via the web and helps with scheduling when you need it. With a teen at home, Jennifer is well suited to Safety First and understands better than most the challenges that come when working with teens. With degrees in International Studies and Economics and more then ten years experience with providing customer service, Jennifer is the professional calm as teens are running in and out of our office. You'll find Jennifer at our Shoreline office Monday through Friday.
Mehwish Imdad excels at everything she does with a bright smile. You’ll find her every Saturday at the Shoreline office and you’ll see her regularly at both the Shoreline or the Lake City Way office helping register teens or signing up adults for driving lessons. As a certified dental assistant, it was her decision to move to a non-medical field and instead pursue a business life. Mehwish is fluent in three languages having lived and worked abroad. She provides exceptional customer service to everyone who walks through our doors. .
Aberra Adera has been a teacher throughout his life. He acquired his Master of Science degree in Forestry Education from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. His world-wide travels make him an open and accessible individual able to communicate with anyone. His unique talent for employing effective teaching strategies is evident in his ability to engage students and foster a fun and thriving learning environment.
Aberra has been a certified driving instructor for the last twelve years. His teaching expertise is apparent as he explains complicated concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. He is calm on the road and his trusting demeanor allows him to build relationships with his students. He is also bilingual and works with others who speak multiple languages.
Atlaw Ashinay brings more than seven years of driving instructor experience to Safety First. Atlaw holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Czech Technical University of Prague, in the Czech Republic. Atlaw is fluent in three languages, has lived and worked abroad, and has developed excellent communication skills. He enjoys utilizing his skills interacting with people of different cultural backgrounds and age groups and his technical expertise is the perfect complement to our entire team of instructors.
Michael Ashinay obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from Washington State University. Michael teaches from downtown on the weekends. Michael enjoys working at the driving school and looks forward to the challenge of combining classroom instruction with Behind-the-Wheel techniques to enhance each student’s driving skills.
Michael is excellent with first time drivers; he helps them explore the car showing how it will respond to them as he teaches them how to control it. With his technical background and disposition, Michael excels at simplifying driver instructions so even the beginning driver feels secure and capable behind the wheel.
Classroom Teacher/Instructor/Knowledge Examiner
Herman teaches the teen course and Behind-the-Wheel lessons at our Shoreline location and teaches adults from downtown. Herman has degrees from the Art Institute of Seattle and the School of Visual Concepts in addition to more than twenty-five years experience as a corporate IT guy.
Specifically with the teens, Herman believes it all comes together in the car when he shows them how the "classroom stuff" plays out in real life. Watching his students combine information to become competent and confident drivers, working with their parents to improve each teen's ability to drive, and finally, passing them off to testers at Safety First so they can get their first license -- this is the payoff for Herman and it is why he truly enjoys teaching teens to drive.
For all of his students, Herman enjoys the challenge of learning new names and faces and is always happy when they test well.
Paula always wanted to be a teacher but it wasn’t until she was studying for her teaching degree that she realized what she really wanted to be was a Driving Instructor! With a family background steeped in car culture, she decided to combine the two and has enjoyed her driving instructor lifestyle ever since. Paula has travelled quite a bit; driving the pacific coast, discovering Canada and Mexico as well as having driven across the country a couple of times.
Because of her car culture background, Paula brings a unique perspective to her classroom. She appreciates the history and freedom a car can bring while sharing her respect for the immense power and responsibility that can come with such freedom. She is an exceptional communicator. She offers personal driving information and good stories along with the tools for safe driving and is liked by her students for her honesty and humor.
John Lange has been driving and teaching on Seattle roads for a very long time. With over twenty years at the Seattle School District – and teaching Driver’s Ed as long as the program was offered – combined with teaching at both Sear’s Driving School and Munro’s Driving School, he could probably describe any local intersection by memory. While with the District, John taught the drama class! So, he’s not a shy instructor and his technique is (obviously) engaging, interactive, humorous, and instructive. His students respect and listen to him which makes the teaching and the learning so much easier.
Berhanu Ashinay loves being an Instructor at Safety First Driving School. Berhanu has a degree from Seattle Central Community College but is really drawn to the individual relationships he is able to create while teaching someone to drive.
Berhanu is always busy teaching and testing adults from our Shoreline location. He spends his day either teaching the basics of driving or testing to see how well he taught the basics of driving!
Berhanu understands how excited and nervous new drivers can be, no matter their age. His patience, friendly demeanor and positive attitude help calm every student driver he comes in contact with. He enjoys being there when a student reveals they finally feel comfortable learning how to drive.
Dawit Ashinay also has a degree in the medical field, and also prefers the personal daily interaction of teaching safe driving to others. Dawit teaches and tests teens and adults from our Lake City Way location.
When he teaches lessons, Dawit includes classroom information to help new drivers learn the basics of safe driving. While navigating through busy one-way streets, pedestrian-heavy areas, and hilly intersections, Dawit is able to connect with each new driver to help them learn and apply safe driving techniques.
Carmen Rawlings is all about sharing. A certified medical specialist AND a certified driving instructor, Carmen teaches adults from our Lake City Way office and from downtown.
Carmen is a talker who is very easy to get along with. She is patient and calm and enjoys meeting new people and showing them all things local. She discovered that she really likes teaching new drivers because most haven’t developed bad habits yet! Without any bad habits to start, Carmen's students learn the safest way to traverse congested city streets and become confident city drivers.
Abebe Abebe is our Accountant. Abebe is well educated with accounting degrees from Central Washington University. With over ten years experience as an accountant/bookkeeper,and more than five years with Safety First, Abebe is a true professional.
Office Staff/Instructor/Knowledge Examiner
Eskedar Tilahun is a certified Instructor and DOL Knowledge Examiner and part-time Office Assistant! Eskedar is certified to administer the Knowledge test at either our Shoreline or Lake City Way office.
Eskedar has over ten years of experience in customer service and over three years with Safety First.