JOPLIN, Mo. — Many upcoming high school graduates are thinking about that next step in life and what sort of training or education they’ll need for their future careers.

But that’s not a problem for one local senior.

It’s a good thing to have options when it comes to life after high school. And Joplin High senior and Franklin Tech Automotive student of the year Leighton Coats has them.

“I’ll be completely certified to work at Ford if I choose to do so,” said Leighton Coats, Franklin Tech Automotive Outstanding Student.

His instructor, Joe Flynn, says all students get the chance to complete the four main subjects for the auto-maker, in brakes, suspension, electrical and engine performance, but Coats is the first student to have gone way above and beyond that and done so in just a year’s time.

“And there’s over 60 of them so he’s completed all of that and this is at a college level so it’s pretty amazing in such a short time to be able to get this done,” said Joe Flynn, Franklin Tech Auto Instructor.

And if a dealership isn’t to his liking, Flynn says his prized pupil has other options, since Coats has also passed all his A.S.E. Or Automotive Service Excellence certifications, he’s qualified to work pretty much anywhere to his liking.

“I’m planning on to go through Volvo, just up there on 32nd. I was thinking about going there but also if that doesn’t plan out, I was hoping I could also end up talking to Ford about working for them,” said Coats.

“Have you ever had a student like him before?” asked KSN’s Stuart Price, Reporting.

“No, this is the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this,” said Flynn.