Susan Walling, Owner, Trainer and Instructor
“I feel like I make a difference in our community by preparing and educating new drivers on how to become intelligent drivers.”
Susan Walling, DRS, is the owner of Driver Training, Inc. Susan is certified at Emory and Henry College to instruct driver’s education. She has a business degree from Virginia Intermont College and studied at East Tennessee State University under the MBA program.
Susan attended King University in 2001 to acquire a minor in Psychology and is also a member of The Driving School Association of the Americas. She is a member of AOTA and was inducted into the Who’s Who of American business professionals in 2008 and once again recognized in 2009. As an attendee of the annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington, D.C., Susan is in expert in the field of traffic psychology, an emerging field that involves applying psychological principles to understanding driver behavior. Some areas in this field include:
- Studying the relationship between driver behavior and traffic accidents
- Designing vehicles that are safer and more ergonomic
- Searching for ways to improve traffic safety and prevent auto accidents
- Researching how people use transportation
Traffic psychology often involves a multidisciplinary approach, combining fields such as social psychology, behavioral psychology, and cognitive psychology. For example, Susan might assess how perception and cognition influence performance during a driving task. She might also look at how individual personality affects a driver’s emotions, attitudes, and risk-taking behavior while driving.
Susan has a dynamic, professional entrepreneurial sales history with a 35 year record of achievement. During Susan’s career she’s demonstrated success by driving multimillion-dollar sales growth of company revenues and improving sales-team performance for Kodak, Eastman Chemical and now her own companies, Driver Training Inc. and My Lasting Legacy. Susan is an exceptional mentor, teacher and leader. The driver education field provides a platform for Susan’s tenacious attitude in building support for new students, parents, employees, recruits and staff while remaining confidential and securing customer loyalty.
Susan maintains consistent academic involvement expanding her areas of expertise.
Susan lives in Bristol, Virginia and has three sons. She is a full-time instructor for all classroom, Behind-the-Wheel, Driver Improvement, RE–Examination Courses, Escort Vehicle Certification and Manual Courses. She welcomes the opportunity to train many different cultures to drive at Driver Training Inc. After living abroad for 15 years, she’s been exposed to a variety of different nationalities. Susan is WXIS – iHeart Radio and WCYB’s expert opinion when it comes to traffic safety. Susan is an avid cyclist, and swimmer who enjoys participating in triathlons.
Karren Bennett, Director of Operations, Instructor
“I could not do what I do without the passion that comes with it. I participate in peoples lives and help create who they will become tomorrow.”
Karren Bennett is the Director of Operations for Driver Training Inc., Karren attended King University in Bristol, Tennessee and recently graduated with full honors with a B.S. in social work. While attending King University, Karren received several awards, including: Who’s Who Among Students in Colleges and Universities; the Mary Richmond Student of the Year, and the M. Jeffrey Byrd Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, she has obtained her certification from Northeast State in Driver Education. She has brought with her a wide range of knowledge to her position here at Driver Training Inc.. Given the wide range of responsibilities Karren holds, such as, recruiting qualified employees, processing paperwork for audits and new hires, developing affirmative action plans and employee reviews. Her excellent communication skills, analytical and critical thinking skills, the ability to influence others and manage change is invaluable.
Karren resides in Marion, Virginia where she keeps active with her puppies. Karren is a talented creative individual who enjoys teaching our students and working with our instructors.
Justin Wyatt, School Board Liaison, Instructor
“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers. I’m here to set the record straight”
A 2001 graduate of J.J Kelly High School in Wise , Virginia and went on to attend the University of Virginia College at Wise on a four year baseball scholarship. Justin was a four year starter in baseball and a member of the 1998 state championship team where he started at third base. While attending college he studied Health and Physical Education where he received his Drivers Education Certificate. Justin has had the opportunity to play many
intramural sports including Flag Football where their team made it to Louisiana for the National Tournament. Currently, he is an Assistant Baseball Coach at John I. Burton High School in Norton,Virginia.
Randall Wyatt, Instructor
“My greatest satisfaction is taking a nervous first time driver and building their confidence during the first lesson and proving to them they have the ability to be a safe driver.”
A J.J. Kelly High School Graduate in 1971, Randall went on to graduate in business from Clinch Valley
College in Wise, Virginia. In addition to his business degree, Randall obtained a Business and Public Administration Certificate in History, Government, Social Sciences and
Driver Education. He has worked and coached in the Wise County Public School system since 1972. His favorite subject to teach was social studies, however, his real joy came from coaching baseball. As a new addition to our team, we look forward to a long and happy relationship with Randall and will benefit from his many years of experience. Randall is married and lives in Wise, Virginia.
Mason King, Instructor
“Nothing compares to the feeling that an educator gets when they connect with students and experience that “teachable moment”. Helping students discover and refine their driving skills allows me to be part of their education that may one day save their life.”
Mason has joined DTI this past year and works with students in the Roanoke Valley. He began his college career at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
As a student/athlete he competed in the decathlon while earning his teaching certificates in Physical Education, Mathematics, and Driver Education. He began his teaching career in 1990 while working on a Master’s Degree in School Administration and Supervision at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia. He currently works with at-risk students at the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Roanoke, Virginia.
He has raised five children who have received degrees from Virginia Tech, West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University. If you don’t see him in one of DTI’s training vehicles you might catch him riding his motorcycle through the mountains of Virginia!
Rick Wagner, Instructor
“When I see a beginning driver improve, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment and the hope that we (DTI) are making a positive influence on future drivers.”
Rick Wagner is a Driver’s Education Instructor at Daniel Boone High in the Washington County, Tennessee school system. Rick has been in education for 32 years following his graduation from East Tennessee State University in 1984 with a degree in K-12 physical education and an endorsement in driver education instruction with a Masters of Education from Tusculum College in 1994. Most of his career was spent in physical education at the elementary/middle school level and in 2003 he moved to Daniel Boone High School and in 2005 became certified as the Driving Instructor. Coaching
has been a big part of his life as he has coached multiple sports at all levels during his career. He last served as the head softball coach at Daniel Boone from 2003-2014. He has since joined the East Tennessee State University softball program as a volunteer assistant under head coach Brad Irwin.
“Teaching someone to drive falls right in line with coaching. You give your students guidelines to follow and it’s my job to make sure they understand and follow those guidelines. I take pride in making sure the students don’t feel overwhelmed and that they develop a confidence about themselves that will last forever. ”
Rick is married to Deborah Harrison (taught for 20 years) and they have a son, Daniel. Daniel is currently attending the University of South Carolina Beaufort on a baseball scholarship. They have two dogs (Buffy & Buddy) and loves traveling to South Carolina to visit their son play baseball. The family attends Christ Fellowship Church in Kingsport.
“Working for Susan and her staff has been amazing and I feel that DTI fills the need that most parents realize once there child turns 15-16, and that is the need to have professional instructors teach their children”.
Joanna Lonker, Instructor
” I enjoy teaching teens , they are so eager to learn & excited about getting their license to drive. I get the privilege of seeing them become more focused, confident, and responsible drivers by the completion of their behind-the-wheel experience.”
Joanna Lonker received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education & Health, K-12 & Library Science K-12 from Concord College in WV. She received her Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration, K-12 from WVU.
She has taught Health & Physical Education for 30 + years in Roanoke County & now teaching Physical Education at Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center. She enjoys teaching part-time Behind-the- Wheel with the Roanoke city school students.
Joanna has 2 nephews and 4 great nephews. She enjoys watching them participate in sporting events. Her hobbies are reading, listening to all types of music, watching movies, dancing (learning how to Shag dance), playing cards (Rook, Spades, & Bridge), & most of all spending time with my pet, Rudy. He is a 6 year old yorkie-poodle.
James P. Yencha, Driver Improvement Instructor
“I’m a people person and love my job and meaningfulness that comes along with it. I’m challenged by getting adults to change old habits, become law abiding and encourage them to respect the privileged to have a driver license.”
James, Mdiv. Attended the University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania while enrolled at St. Pius X Seminary, Dalton, PA as a candidate for the Roman Catholic priesthood for the Diocese of Scranton, PA. Obtained a bachelors in Human Services from the University of Scranton in 1980 after which I enrolled in Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, New York. I attended Christ the King from 1980 to 1983 taking a pastoral year from 1983-1984 at which time I was in residence with Bishop James C. Timlin at Nativity Catholic church in south-side
Scranton. I returned to Christ the King in September, 1984 and completed my studies resulting in a Masters of Divinity awarded in May, 1985.
I arrived in Bristol, Virginia in August of 1985 as the Minister of Religious Education for St. Anne Catholic Church, a position I held until I moved on in 1991. I moved to Apex, North Carolina and was a full time Youth Minister for St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church until June, 1993 when I moved back to Pennsylvania. I remained in PA from 1993 until 1999 working primarily in the telephone research field and as a host/cashier/bartender at the Red Lobster restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I returned to Bristol in the spring of 1999 and returned to my previous position at St. Anne Catholic Church. I was employed in a variety of positions at St. Anne’s until my retirement in June 2014. I was blessed to be the host at Matthew 25 Guesthouse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti from January through March, 2015. I returned to Bristol in 2015 and lived the “retired life” for a short time before obtaining employment at Kroger Grocery store in Bristol. Shortly thereafter, I came to Driver Training Inc. as an instructor in the Driving Improvement Program.
I live in Bristol, Tennessee in the Pink Palace (a name my exchange students christened my home) with my faithful cat Lucky. I am still active at St. Anne Catholic Church where I was recently elected to the Parish Council. I have enjoyed the challenge of teaching the Driver Improvement Class and helping to make the world a better place through safe driving.
Allen Mays, Instructor in Training
“There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”
Allen strives each day to achieve a goal of confidence for all of his students when they start behind the wheel. Allen, graduated in 1994 from Emory and Henry. He enjoys music, especially singing in harmony, spending time with my family, and has a strong passion for the Lord. Allen is a member of a Capella group which sings at at various Christian churches throughout southwest Virginia.
His family includes my wife, Debbie, and my daughter, Alexus. He enjoys his job, as a driving instructor for Driver Training Inc. very much. He thanks the students because he loves hearing the stories they tell, and their excitement for his class. Allen’s ultimate goal is to help each student to become safe and efficient drivers.
Jared Christian, Information Technology Assistant
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, at Driver Training Inc. we offer a new approach to Driver Education. And I make that happen.”
Jared provides technical support to users by diagnosing and correcting problems. He also performs complex computer operation tasks, receiving, logging and tracking all calls from users related to network, printing and PC issues. Jared monitors all computer equipment and performs routine maintenance, which includes cleaning hardware. He’s on top of organizing and maintaining various IT files and tape library. He also performs backups and keeps our operating equipment at peak performance.
Jared lives in Bristol with his family and attends Highlands Fellowship Church in Bristol, Virginia. He also enjoys playing video games and hard labor.
Driver Training Inc. Instructors:
• Are passionate about teaching teens; most have prior experience in teaching or coaching teens
• Are energetic, vibrant professionals who bring lessons to life
• Have passed background checks spanning 300 million records and 50 states
• Have passed an intensive drug screen and driving record check
• Have mastered our curriculum and passed our rigorous training program of up to 8 weeks
• Continuously learn and improve via ongoing customer surveys and managerial observations
As a client of Driver Training Inc., you will learn from a premier driver education professional.