Colonial Driving School began in 1980 when John Whitlow, a Colonial Heights policeman, retired from the force. After years of personal experience with the tragedy caused by poor driving, Officer Whitlow knew he wanted to make a difference. So he began Colonial Driving School to teach driver’s education to teens.
He quickly became known for his thorough curriculum and excellent teaching ability, and the business flourished. Students who took Driver’s Ed at Colonial Driving School tended to come back to Mr. Whitlow to attend driving school if they got a ticket — they liked him! For 30 years John Whitlow ran Colonial Driving School with excellence, teaching scores of people, and their children, and even grandchildren how to drive.
But time marches on, and Mr. Whitlow found himself occasionally having to sit down to teach. That’s when he decided it was time to pass the baton to someone with the energy of youth. He took a ballpoint pen and a piece of plain white paper, and wrote a note: “Business for Sale…Inquire Within”
That’s where the Noyes Family comes into the story. Margarita Noyes, a local business owner who had homeschooled her four children from kindergarten through High School, was looking around for a small business to supplement the income of her daughter, Tiffany, who was about to get married. Tiffany is a gifted teacher and speaker, and is very careful about safety, and Colonial Driving School looked like a good fit for her. So Mr. Whitlow, Tiffany, and Margarita struck a deal to enable Tiffany to gradually take over the Driving School under the mentorship and supervision of John Whitlow, now an 86 year-old veteran. Tiffany quickly got certified and began to teach, but a few months after getting married, she got pregnant and couldn’t continue.
This proved to be pivotal for the future of the driving school because coming up behind Tiffany in the Noyes Family Homeschool was Tobias, a then 17 year-old fireball interested in business and law. While his sister was too sick to work, Tobias virtually began running the driving school! He had to stay mum about his age at first, because you have to be 18 to do many of the functions of a business manager, but he did it all. Under the mentorship of a businessman from Tobias’s church in Chester, Tobias doubled the clientele for classes in the first 6 months, hired new teachers, and began offering new services. With new energy and enthusiasm, Colonial Driving School has started the cycle all over again of excellent service, which brings customers back over and over again, generation by generation.