School emphasizes defensive driving

GS Defensive Driving School owners Heather Scott and Michael Groves board their instruction car. - Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times
GS Defensive Driving School owners Heather Scott and Michael Groves board their instruction car.
— image credit: Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

To Oak Harbor’s new driving school, GS Defensive Driving School, the goal of drivers education goes further than just passing a test. For owners Michael Groves and Heather Scott, drivers education is about “building great driving habits for life.”

GS Defensive Driving School opened in March. It caters to ages 15 to seniors above age 55. Courses are offered for teens new to driving and adults and seniors in need of refresher classes.

Groves has 20 years of experience teaching drivers education curriculum. He substitutes for local schools from kindergarten through eighth grade and he taught for seven years at Clover Valley Elementary School earlier.

“I enjoy that kindergartners back then are now sophomores and they still know me,” Groves said.

Groves and Scott opened this school in Oak Harbor because the local high school has the largest need. Students from Coupeville, Anacortes and South Whidbey are also welcome.

“School districts don’t get to spend much money on driving schools anymore, so it’s up to commercial businesses now,” Groves said.

GS Defensive Driving School will feature at least 10 sessions per year.

“If we have more clients, we’ll have more classes,” Groves said.

Teen classes are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for five weeks. They consist of 30 hours of classroom time, six hours behind the wheel and a freeway drive. The next session is July 22 to Aug. 28. The cost is $345.

The next senior refresher program is July 19 and 26 for four hours each day. The cost is $15.

Currently, Groves and Scott are working with courts to have their school include a program for court-ordered refresher courses.

GS Defensive Driving School is located at 390 NE Midway Blvd., suite B205. For more information or for class reservations, call 360-675-3222 or visit

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