Getting your driver's license is more like a rite of passage in your teenage years. When school gets out for the summer, hundreds of high school students hit the pavement for driving school. Before these high school students get behind the wheel, they first take a lesson from long time driver education instructor Jim Jensen.
"It's really fun, I learn a lot with Mr. Jensen," student Bailey Gadbois said.
Jensen has been teaching students how to drive for almost 44 years. He believes taking a driver's ed course can help young people stay safe when they get behind the wheel for the first time.
"I'm a believer in it. There is so much that you don't get within the state manual to get your permit, but here you go beyond what's necessary," Jensen said.
Gadbois says her favorite thing Jensen has taught her since starting driver's ed is parking.
"I didn't know how to park before and it's really fun to learn how to do it," Gadbois said.
As for Jensen, he believes these classes will teach her more than just the basics, but lifesaving skills.
"16 to 19 years old ar really the deadliest years of teen driving," Jensen said. "The lack of experience, lack of understanding, you know what's right, what isn't right, something brand new."
He says that is why, he believes, parents should sign each student up for the class.
"It's an opportunity for parents to get their kids involved in supplemental driving experiences, drivers education, driver training programs," Jensen said.
As for Gadbois, she hopes to just hit the open road safety after she graduates from the program.
"I have my learners permit right now so hopefully when driver's ed is done I'll be able to get my restricted," Gadbois said.
According to South Dakota law, teens can get their learners permit at 14 years old. If you are interested in getting your student in a driver’s ed program, contact your local school district.