Safe Driving Instructors

Instructors Certification & Background

Click on the name to "jump down" to their information

Dave Aitken - David graduated from Bethel Park High in 1966. Following graduation he attended Beaver County Community College.

Mr. Aitken is very involved in a variety of community activities and server on the Board of Directors of the following organizations: National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, Beaver County Consumer / Family Satisfaction Team, and Greentree Historical Society. David is also a trained speaker for mental health issues.

David is a retired employee from Penn Central / Conrail Railroad and from 1968 thru 1996 served as a yardmaster for the railroad.

You can all get in touch with David Aitken by calling Seniors For Safe Driving @ 800-559-4880. Mr. Aitken currently lives in Hookstown, PA. He can be reached by email through Seniors For Safe Driving.


Richard D'Arcangelo - Richard has a varied business background starting in 1960 through 2005. Mr. D'Arcangelo has worked with the following companies: A & P Tea Company, General Telephone, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Company, Tridea Electronics, and Lacey's / King Arthur's Pizza. Most of his professional career has been devoted to supervision and management.

Mr. D'Arcangelo has an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Pasadena City College. He is a graduate of the American Automobile Association's Highway Safety Education Instructor Certification School in Fairfax, Virginia.

In 1978 Richard went into business for himself where he owned and operated Lacey's / King Arthur Pizza franchise. After 10 successful years in the pizza business, Richard felt it was time to semi-retire, and sold the business.

Mr. D'Arcangelo is very active in his community where he serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat and Humanity of Mercer County, serves as an instructor for the Shenango Valley YMCA, and is a Boy Scout School Career Speaker. He is still active as a National Junior Tennis League Instructor and is a Pasadena Rose Parade Assiciation Member.

Seniors For Safe Driving is very fortunate to have Richard as a certified instructor. He teaches classes up and down Interstate 79 from the Mercer area to Erie, Pennsylvania. In 2004 Richard reached over 5000 seniors while teaching Seniors For Safe Driving classes.

Mr. D'Arcangelo currently lives in Hermitage, PA. He can be reached by email through Seniors For Safe Driving.


Don Kobak - Seniors For Safe Driving is proud to introduce Donald Kobak at the latest addition to our list certified instructors. Mr. Kobak has a wealth of experience in teaching highway safety education programs for seniors.

Currently, Don is working as the manager of the Blair Senior Center. His personality, educational background , and work experience make him an outstanding candidate to present programs for Seniors For Safe Driving. Mr. Kobak attended Shippensburg State College. Don served in the United States Army as a military specialist from 1962 through 1965.

Don is a resident of Altoona, Pennsylvania and will be presenting programs in the Altoona area and surrounding counties. Mr. Kobak will be presenting programs at Epworth Manor in Tyrone, PA and the Altoona Health Care Center in Altoona, PA.

Donald can be contacted by e-mail at the following address


PK Little - Mr. Little is a retired school teacher who primarily taught Biology at West Middlesex HS. Mr. Little earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Penn State University. His science teaching certification also came from Penn State and his Driver's Education certification came from Slippery Rock University. Mr. Little taught In-the-Car driving for seven years at Lakeview HS, for threeyears at West Middlesex HS and 1 year at the Community College of Alleghany County. In all, he has logged some 5000 hours of accident free driving with teenage drivers.

A former truck driver and avid motorcyclist, Mr. Little believes that the art of defensive driving is a science of do's and don'ts that can greatly reduce the odds of being involved in an accident. He is eager to impart his experience and knowledge of driving to anyone who is willing to listen and considers it a privelege to be able to help mitigate the dangers of driving a car.

A veteran of th US Army, Mr. Little served in Vietnam in a dog training detachment where he helped take care of some 200 German Shephards. His hobbies are traveling ( he has traveled extensivly in Europe and Asia), long distance running ( he has completed four marathons and numerous half marathons; all over the age of 50) and experiencing the great outdoors by going motorcycle-camping. Mr. Little is also a musician who plays harmonica and sings in a band called Makin' Changes. He has three daughters and three grand daughters and stays in touch with the younger generation by substitute teaching at Sharon HS. He is looking forward to meeting you.


Larry Nunamaker - I am a lifetime resident of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Husband, father of six children and grandfather of nine. I like traveling and spending time with my wonderful bride and grandchildren. I ride motorcycle, love boating, fishing and camping.

I graduated from Ford City High School, Ford City, PA and worked thirty and a half years for Allegheny Ludlum Steel Mill where I drove truck and operated various steel making machines. Since I retired, I have driven motor coach, school bus and was a Certified School Bus Instructor for a local busing garage. I was ordained into the ministry in 2002 and enjoy preaching and talking with people.


Leo (Bucky) Parisi - Leo started Seniors For Safe Driving in May of 1993 with a working agreement with the American Automobile Association. July 1, 2004 Seniors For Safe Driving received statewide certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and is now one of four organizations certified to present highway safety programs throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania.

Leo is a graduate of Ridgway High School and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where he received a B.S. Degree in Education in 1962. He earned a Masters Degree from IUP in 1964. Mr. Parisi has participated in three American Automobile Association highway safety instructor certification schools.

Mr. Parisi's work experience includes professional baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization from 1959-1965. From 1965 to 1972, He started the first Driver Education Program for the East Allegheny School District where he taught and coached basketball and baseball. From 1973 to 1981, Leo accepted a similar position with the Butler Area School District in Butler, PA. In 1973 Mr. Parisi opened a restaurant in Butler, PA where he expanded the restaurant business to include operations in Titusville and Indiana, Pennsylvania. Also included in his restaurant operation was a seafood restaurant in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Upon his retirement in 1994 he started a new company, Seniors For Safe Driving, which is conducting well over 400 instructional classes a year in Western Pennsylvania. Starting in 2006 Seniors For Safe Driving is expanding its operation to include classes in Eastern Pennsylvania.


David Shively - Dave is joining Seniors for Safe Driving after enjoying a 30+ year career in the Federal Governments Office of Personnel Management. A Butler County native and Center Township resident, he spent the bulk of his career in various corporate leadership roles providing up-to-date Human Resource products and services ensuring that our nations civil service remained free of political influence and that its employees were treated fairly on the basis of merit. Included among Dave's program work experience was time as the Program Manager for the first Training and Development Branch at OPM's Retirement Operations Center in Boyers, Pa. He managed a staff of professional, administrative and technical staff that was responsible for developing and delivering the Center's organizational career development needs.

Dave is a recipient of the United States Governments prestigious Theodore Roosevelt award for Excellence in leading change and innovative thinking. Dave also is a past member of (SHRM) the Society for Human Resource Management, (ASTD) the Association for Training and Development, has served on the Program Advisory Board at Butler County Community College, and hold certificates in both course design and delivery from (ISD) Instructional Systems Design.

Since retiring in 2006 from his federal career, Dave has ventured into a second career in Professional bass fishing and travels throughout the eastern United States fishing tournaments on the FLW (Forrest L Wood) tour circuits and the B.A.S.S. tournament circuits.


Vince J Sommariva - Vincent Sommariva

Mr. Sommariva has been teaching classes for Seniors For Safe Driving for the past two years. Vince's dedication, his personality and his knowledge of highway safety make him an excellent instructor.

In 1978 Vince earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He also has an associate major in business accounting from the New Castle Business College.

Mr. Sommariva worked his entire professional career for AK Steel located in Butler, Pennsylvania. His responsibilities were varied and includes the following: 1991-2003 Regional Account Manager for North America including Canada and the entire East Coast, 1983- 1991 Vince worked for ARMCO Steel Corporation as a Customer Service Technical Representative and finally from 1982 to 1983 he was a Systems Development Specialist.

He is very familiar with the Smith System of Driving and is a certified Motorcycle Safety program instructor. Mr. Sommariva has completed the Seniors For Safe Driving Certification Program. Vince is currently teaching highway safety education programs in Western Pennsylvania.

Vince served in the United States Army from December 10, 1965 to November 27, 1967. He served with the US Army 5th Special Forces Group. Mr. Sommariva can be reached by e-mail at the following address.


Gail Stickner - Gail Stickner is our latest instructor to become certified to present Seniors For Safe Driving programs. Gail has a wealth of experience in education as a teacher in the Penncrest School District in Crawford County. She has taught classes in just about every age group from elementary education to adult education seminars.

Ms. Stickner is a graduate of Edinboro University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree as well as her Masters Degree in education. Gail is an outstanding teacher with a wonderful personality and is excited about presenting Seniors For Safe Driving programs in Northwestern Pennsylvania. She will present programs for Seniors For Safe Driving in Northwestern Pennsylvania from April to December.

Gail is excited about teaching again and looks forward to seeing you in one of her classes. You can contact Gail by e-mail at the following address

Seniors For Safe Driving is proud to add Gail Stickner to our growing staff of instructors. If you register for one of here classes you will not be disappointed, she is an entertaining and knowledgeable instructor with a wealth of teaching experience.


Robert (Bob) Wehrle - Bob graduated from South Hills Catholic High School in 1966. Following graduation he attended classes at Point Park University

He retired in 2008 after a 42 year career in the railroad industry. Bob was a transportation official with the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, Three Rivers Railway, and CSX Transportation. Since retirement Bob completed a course to become an income tax preparer, and recently has received his appointment as a Pennsylvania Notary Public.

As a resident of Upper St. Clair, Bob will be instructing classes in the South Hills Area. You can contact Bob at


Benjamin J. Zappa - Ben attended and graduated from Sharon High in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Mr. Zappa graduated from Clarion University and earned a B. S. Degree in education with a major in Biology and a minor in Mathematics. His Msters Degree was earned at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a major in Biology.

The National Science Foundation awarded Ben several in-service grants where he studied at Penn State University in State College, PA., Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through the National Science Foundation, Mr Zappa has made many contributions in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Microbiology and Mathematics.

Ben's entire professional career has been spent as a teacher, head of the science department, and track coach at Ridgway Area School District in Ridgway, Pennsylvania from 1961 to 1994. Mr. Zappa is a graduate of two American Automobile Association's Instructor Certification Schools in Fairfax, Virginia. Ben has been teaching Seniors For Safe Driving classes for the past eleven years in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Benjamin J. Zappa currently lives in Ridgway, PA. If you would like to contact him by email, he can be contacted through Seniors For Safe Driving.

How Do I Become A Certified Instructor?

Instructor Certification Process

In order for a candidate to become a certified instructor for the Senior Driving Classes each individual must meet the following requirements:
  1. Each individual wanting to become an instructor must take attend a seven hour certification seminar in Butler, Pennsylvania. The seminar will be presented by instructors with at least five years teaching experience in the Seniors For Safe Driving program. The instructor's manual, as well as the course content, is included in this certification package as presented to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
  2. Your investment in becoming a Seniors For Safe Driving certified instructor is $ 175.00. Your check covers the cost of materials that will be issued to you at the certification seminar that include the instructor's manual, a series of videos that relate to the instructor's manual, and a series of books and pamphlets you can use as reference material. (If for whatever reason, you decide this isn't something you want to do, as soon as you send the certification material back to Seniors For Safe Driving we will refund to you a check in the amount of $100.00.) Drive Smart
  3. All potential instructors must have a violation free driving record for the past three years. Seniors For Safe Driving must be given permission, by the candidate, to run a motor vehicle record check.
  4. All potential instructors must have a DUI free record for the past 10 years.
  5. For all instructors to maintain certification they must teach a minimum of six classes a year. At least one class a year must be observed and evaluated by a supervisor from the home office.
  6. Certification for all instructors is good for a three-year period. To maintain certification each instructor must take a 4-hour (one day) seminar to review teaching standards and new concepts in the teaching of highway safety.
  7. Certification for all instructors is good for a three-year period. To maintain certification each instructor must take a 7-hour (one day) class to review teaching standards and new concepts in the teaching of highway safety.
  8. Every instructor must have a valid Pennsylvania driver's license.
  9. At the conclusion of the instructor certification course the new teacher must score at least 80% on the final exam.

You can fill out an online Application by clicking HERE
*SFSD course is approved by PennDOT with otherwise no affilation. Logo appears with PennDOT's permission.