Trojan Profile: Dean Fairweather


Ashley Yoder, Editor-in-Chief


Dean Fairweather, originally from Norwich, England, has been teaching automotive education at Topeka High since 2009.


At 16 years old he began an apprenticeship at a Volkswagen dealership in Norwich. The apprenticeship was a legally binding agreement that required him to work at that specific dealership for five years. Fairweather stated that after his apprenticeship was up he stayed at that dealership for another five years and then moved to another VW dealership. After that he worked for Honda, Mazda, Mercades, GM and Porsche dealerships as well as a few small garages.  Then in 2000 Fairweather moved to the from England to the United States and began teaching at what used to be the Kaw Area Technical School, now known as Washburn Technical School, until 2009.


When Fairweather isn’t teaching or working on cars he is playing with his band or playing one of his many instruments. Not only does he play guitar, piano, bass, drums, and sings, but he builds his own guitars as well.


“”I’m still doing the same silly stuff as I was when I was 18.” Fairweather, said.


Not only does he play guitar but he makes them as well. Fairweather and Martin Moreno sometimes play together at Fairweather’s house and Moreno was intrigued by the homemade guitars


“He kept asking about my homemade guitars. He played one and loved it,” Fairweather, said.


When Moreno discovered his heart problems and had to undergo surgery, Fairweather decided it was time to build Moreno his own guitar. He created two very light weight stratocaster guitars that were coated in a blue finish. When Moreno started the 2015-2016 school year, doing better than before, Fairweather decided it was time to surprise him. At a staff meeting Fairweather  announced his present to Moreno and then gave it to him.


Recently, one of Fairweathers former students Brianna Henderson was accepted into the Ranken Technical College in St. Louis Missouri. She will be going through the Toyota TEchnicians Education Network (T-Ten) program, which means she will be taking Toyota specific classes and participating in an internship at the Topeka Toyota dealership. She will take classes for about two months, then come back to Topeka for another two months, and then back to Ranken. She will do this until her degree is completed.


Fairweather knew that Henderson’s car was not in the best shape to be making the trip back and forth from Topeka to St. Louis and wanted to help her. He decided that if she was accepted into the T-Ten program that he would give her the Mazda 626 that his father-in-law had given him. When he heard about Henderson’s acceptance he brought her into the shop and told her that because she was accepted into the T-Ten program and her vehicle was not in the best of shape that he wanted to give her the car. While the car is in better shape than her current Pontiac Sunfire, there are still some repairs that need to be done such as a new battery. Fairweather will be finishing the repairs for free.


“I just like to help people if I can,” Fairweather said.