Our Staff


General Manager/Instructor/Examiner

Brook Ashinay is the General Manager and Lead Instructor at Safety First Driving School. He is also a Lead Tester and Trainer, licensed and certified by the State of Washington. Brook obtained his driving instructor certificate while pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in Safety and Health Management with a minor in Business Administration from Central Washington University. It was after he received his degree he realized how fascinated he was by the attitudes, values, and risk behaviors of his fellow drivers. Because he also worked on various projects studying the learning patterns of different personalities and age groups, Brook was able to quickly apply the theoretical knowledge to practical life creating a positive atmosphere for learning and connecting almost immediately with his students.


Lead Administrator

Susan Grayce has a BA in Communications and enjoys working with new drivers of all ages. A former classroom teacher who now focuses on the business of Safety First Driving School, Susan misses the kids in class, the behind-the-wheel lessons, and working downtown with new drivers.

With more than four years experience teaching defensive driving techniques to teen drivers for the National Safety Council, she is well-versed on the subject of student drivers and how to teach them good driving habits.


Lead Scheduler/Marketing

Jennifer Shelepet is the morning smile at Safety First Driving School. She is also our Saturday champion because no matter how busy our weekends — Jennifer handles it all calmly. With two teens at home, Jennifer is well suited to Safety First and understands better than most the challenges that come when working with teens. With degrees in International Studies and Economics, Jennifer proves you can use both sides of your brain because she is also an artist with a strong following for her products on etsy. Don’t hesitate to ask her about her creations. And, as an expert at winning sweepstakes – and who knew you could do such a thing? – we’ll only have Jennifer until she wins big.



Aberra Adera has been a teacher throughout his life. He acquired his Master of Science degree in Forestry Education from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. His world-wide travels make him an open and accessible individual able to communicate with anyone. His unique talent for employing effective teaching strategies is evident in his ability to engage students and foster a fun and thriving learning environment.

Aberra has been a certified driving instructor for the last seven years. His teaching expertise is apparent as he explains complicated concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His gentle and charismatic demeanor allows him to build relationships with his students as he encourages them to extend their intellectual, emotional, and ethical development beyond the classroom.



Atlaw Ashinay brings more than seven years of driving instructor experience to Safety First. Atlaw holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Czech Technical University of Prague, in the Czech Republic. Atlaw is fluent in three languages, has lived and worked abroad, and has developed excellent communication skills. He enjoys utilizing his skills interacting with people of different cultural backgrounds and age groups and his technical expertise is the perfect complement to our entire team of instructors.



Michael Ashinay obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from Washington State University. And, like the rest of the family, Michael enjoys working at the driving school and looks forward to the challenge of combining classroom instruction with Behind-the-Wheel techniques to enhance each student’s driving skills. With his technical background and disposition, Michael excels at simplifying driver instructions so even the beginning driver feels secure and capable behind the wheel.


Classroom Teacher/Instructor

Herman teaches the teen course and behind-the-wheel lessons at our Shoreline location. Herman is an artsy tech(is that a thing?) having come to us after more than twenty-five years in the corporate world as a Sr. Analyst in an I.T. department. The artsy side comes from his studying at the Art Institute of Seattle and the School of Visual Concepts as well as playing the guitar, writing music, and woodworking. But the question is; will he sing in class? Herman enjoys his new teaching career since it enables him to work closely with teens and adults in a much more personal manner.


Classroom Teacher/Instructor/Examiner

John Lange has been driving and teaching on Seattle roads for a very long time. With over twenty years at the Seattle School District – and teaching Driver’s Ed as long as the program was offered – combined with teaching at both Sear’s Driving School and Munro’s Driving School, he could probably describe any local intersection by memory.

Over the years working in the traffic ed. world he was primarily employed as a drama instructor/director at a local high school. So, he’s not a shy instructor and his classroom technique is (obviously) engaging, interactive, humorous, and instructive. His students respect and listen to him which makes the teaching and the learning so much easier.



Berhanu Ashinay loves being an Instructor at Safety First Driving School. Berhanu has an Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Seattle Central Community College but is really drawn to the individual relationships he is able to create while teaching someone to drive.

Berhanu understands how excited and nervous new drivers can be. He enjoys being the one to help the student finally learn how to drive. And, since Berhanu also gets to make his own schedule, we guarantee he will always greet you with a smile!



Dawit Ashinay also has a degree in the medical field, and like his brothers, he enjoys the personal daily interaction of teaching safe driving to others. Specifically focused on our downtown adult drivers, Dawit helps these new drivers navigate their way through busy one-way streets, hilly intersections, and the challenges of maintaining pedestrian safety. A HUGE sports fan, Dawit loves our Seahawks and wishes we still had a basketball team.



Carmen Rawlings has a CEHRS and a HCA certification. The caregiver certificate is what most likely explains her vast patience. Carmen is quiet and calm and loves to read. You just might see her reading before or between her lessons and it will most likely be science fiction, ask her about her favorite book. Always described as “easy to get along with” Carmen loves teaching the teens to drive because not only do they want to learn, they are also surprisingly good drivers, most haven’t developed bad habits yet! She knows how hard it can be to teach your own child to drive and is very appreciative of the parents who can teach their children the basics of driving, and she will thank them in person every chance she gets.


Office Staff

Abebe Abebe is part of the Safety First family as our in-house payroll coordinator; but he is far more to us than that! With an accounting degree from Central Washington University, he comes well equipped to complete any numerical task that might arise. In fact, he is the go-to guy in the family for any math or science question! We are fortunate he finds time for us while preparing for his CPA exam. Don’t hesitate to challenge him with your own question if you should see him in the office!