Bates Technical College’s Commercial Truck Driving program instructor Bob Gunter recognized with prestigious award

Posted: October 31, 2020

Annual award recognizes faculty for exemplary work performance and more

TACOMA, Wash. – Bates Technical College’s Commercial Truck Driving: Entry Level program instructor Bob Gunter recently received the 2020 Exceptional Faculty Award in a surprise presentation, which included a drive-by celebration from college programs like Fire Service.


Bates Technical College President Lin Zhou said, “Bates is fortunate to have Bob Gunter as part of our excellent faculty. His industry knowledge and high skill level, combined with outstanding dedication to teaching, ensures our commercial truck driving program students receive a superb education and are ready for a successful career upon graduation.”

The writer of the nomination letter wrote that, “Bob has been the cornerstone of the commercial truck driving program at Bates Technical College for 30 years. Through his dedication to the success of his students, he has developed the program into the most respected Commercial Driver License (CDL) training program in our region.”

The annual award recognizes faculty members who infuse their teaching with innovation, and who provide an exemplary level of work performance that fosters and supports student learning.

Gunter leads the Bates Technical College Commercial Truck Driving: Entry Level program advisory council, providing a valuable link between our students and the local employers who will be hiring them into their new careers, wrote the nominator. “He engages with these professionals to learn what they want from their future employees and adjusts the training program to meet these job market demands. This makes our graduates highly sought after by local employers and national recruiters.”

Gunter makes it a priority to promote a diverse and inclusive industry through encouraging and supporting female students and instructors to strive for positions of equality and respect in the industry.

“He has chosen to take on the additional challenge of teaching ESL-only training classes, giving new members of our community access to self-sustaining employment opportunities,” wrote the nominator. “He spreads the same message to every one of his classes: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or if you are different – all that matters is that you can drive the truck.’ This simple encouragement, especially for students who have experienced discrimination, is exactly the kind of support his students need to achieve their goal of a good job in a high-demand industry.”

The state legislature created the Exceptional Faculty Awards program in 1990 to recognize and encourage excellence in teaching in Washington’s 34 public community and technical colleges. This award is made possible through a legislature-established endowed trust fund and the Bates Technical College Foundation.

To learn more about the Commercial Truck Driving: Entry Level program, call 253.680.7002 or go to

Way to go, Bob Gunter!