Driving school opens new Shelton location

A driving school is gearing up for the busy summer season at its new Shelton location.

All-Star Driver, the state’s largest driving school, has opened its 66th location at the Sports Center of Connecticut complex at 784 River Road (Route 110).

A ribbon cutting and grand opening event recently took place at the facility in the Sports Center’s hockey rink building.

Accelerated summer programs

John Leslie, a Shelton resident and an All-Star branch manager, said enrollment increases in the summer when teens are out of school and don’t have after-school obligations such as clubs and sports.

“We offer accelerated programs in the summer,” said Leslie, who runs the All-Star Driver facility in Hamden. “Our programs are very flexible in meeting what a student needs.”

As a manager, Leslie both handles administrative duties as well as teaches classes and gets behind-the-wheel with students.

He is excited about the new Shelton location, noting the Sports Center offers plenty of activities to keep parents and siblings busy while teens are in driving classes.

“It’s a great opportunity for parents to do something else while students come here,” Leslie said. “I’d be hitting a bucket or two of [golf] balls myself, while youngsters can go to the batting cages.”

Christine Santora, All-Star Driver marketing manager, agreed the venue has its advantages. “It’s really convenient,” she said.

Should serve hundreds of students per year

All-Star Driver officials said the Shelton school should serve about 300 students — from teens to adults — per year.

Other nearby All-Star locations include Monroe and Orange, with in-school locations at Fairfield-Ludlowe High and Bridgeport’s Central High.

Brandon Dufour, All-Star general manager, said he’s excited to add to the vitality of the Valley business community.

“The partnership with the Sports Center is a win for our students and their parents,” Dufour said. “You can drop your teen off for driver’s ed, and hit balls on the range or in the batting cages while you wait.”

Technology and personalized curriculum

All-Star Driver is known for its use of advanced technology, and for offering personalized curriculum based on students’ interests and time availability so students can learn at their own pace, according to the company’s publicity material.

“Our cars are up to date, with different options such as SUVs, convertibles and manual transmission,” Santora noted.

The company recently was recognized in the Hartford Business Journal for transforming into a nearly paperless office.

All-Star is a family owned and operated driving school based in Watertown. The company began in the student transportation (bus) business, but expanded to offer new driver training in February 2009. Learn more at www.all-stardriver.com.