Get to Know Blackhawk’s John Hayes, Automotive Instructor

October 25, 2023


Welcome to our “Get to Know Blackhawk” series, which uses a Q&A format to showcase the diverse and talented individuals within the college community.

What is your name and where did you grow up?

John Hayes grew up in Adams-Friendship, Wisconsin. It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.

What is your role at Blackhawk Technical College?

Automotive Instructor

What was your journey to this role? Where did you go to school? What did you study?

The journey started long ago. I was originally attending UW-Stevens Point for secondary English education. I starved out in the first year, and after a three-year stint in the Army, I went to work as an Automotive Technician. After thirty years in the field, I returned to college and graduated from UW-Stout in 2015 with a degree in Career and Technical Education.

Is there something that drew you to this career?

In my youth, I had the world’s greatest mentor, and I just want to do what he did for me for others.

What skills do you possess that you believe will help you in this position?

My background with mentoring younger technicians as well as educating consumers over the years helps tremendously in in breaking down complicated systems to an understandable level.

What is something Blackhawk offers that you feel other colleges do not?

In our program we offer flexible learning times, which allows our students to earn and learn at the same time to help reduce the possibility of college debt after graduation. Most of our students are employed by the end of their first year, giving them a huge leg up in life.

What was your first job?

I started off working at a roadside produce stand at age ten and have been working ever since.

What is your favorite quote?

“We are all in this together…and keep your stick on the ice.” - Red Green

What is your favorite TV show?

“The A-Team”

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?


If you could have dinner with anybody, alive or dead, who would you choose?

General (Stormin’) Norman Schwarzkopf

What/who is your favorite sports team or pro athlete?

The Pack. Hands down.

What is your dream vacation destination?

Going back to Canada for walleye fishing.

What would be your dream car to own?

Original Shelby Cobra

Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? Tell us the story of how you met.

I met Pia Zadora (you may have to Google her) while I was stationed in Korea in 1988.  She pulled me up on stage and planted a kiss on my cheek.

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