Our Mentors are the greatest!

The ThunderChickens work hours upon hours for six weeks to build their robot in order to be ready for competition. In addition,  many adult mentors from various industries volunteer their time to guide, teach and mentor the students during the build and competition season. We send out a big “Thank You” to them all!

Jim Yaxley

FIRST Mentor Since 2000

Engineer - Master Robotics

Julie Kausch

FIRST Mentor Since 2004

Engineer - Fellowship Chapel

Jeff Kausch

FIRST Mentor Since 2004

Program Mgr - Delphi

Gary Yahr

FIRST Mentor Since 2007

Toy and Game Maker

Curtis DeSaele 

FIRST Mentor Since 2010

Engineer - Waltonen Engineering

Donovan Whitehead

FIRST Mentor Since 2014

Engineer- Metalworking Lubricants Company

ThunderChicken Alumni

Justin Schultz 

FIRST Mentor Since 2014

Engineer- Complete Automation

ThunderChicken Alumni

Raju Mudunuri 

FIRST Mentor Since 2017

Engineer - Ford

Domenic Moraccini

FIRST Mentor Since 2019

Registered Nurse - Beaumont

ThunderChicken Alumni

John Payne

FIRST Mentor Since 2021

Controls Engineer - Ford

Alex Lecea

FIRST Mentor Since 2022

Financier - Ford

Debbie McNeil

FIRST Mentor Since 2010

Accountant - D.A. McNeil & Associates

Former Mentors

Ron Arscheene

FIRST Mentor From 1999-2019

Teacher - Utica Community Schools

Mike Attan

FIRST Mentor From 1999-2022

Teacher - Utica Community Schools

Brynn Yahr

FIRST Mentor From 2007-2020

Tony Moraccini 

FIRST Mentor From 2009

Construction (Retired)

Kelly Kozlowski 

FIRST Mentor From 2011-2021


Nick Paterni

FIRST Mentor From 2012-2020

Software Engineer - MotorCity Casino

Aaron Willcock 

FIRST Mentor From 2018-2022

Wayne State Professor - Computer Science 

ThunderChicken Alumni


FIRST Mentor From 2008-2022

General Dynamics (Retired)

Bill Baedke

FIRST Mentor From 1999-2022

Engineer (Retired) - Visteon Corporation