CDL instructor with a group of students and a semi-truck

CDL Instructors

Headshot of Manny

Manny Valdes, Instructor

Manny Valdes has over 25 years of commercial driving experience with 17 years of experience as a CDL instructor. His driving experience includes local, regional and over-the-road, including driving the ice roads through Alaska. When asked what he enjoys most about being an instructor, he says, “I enjoy helping give others the same opportunities that I had for a better job with good wages.” He hopes that students will leave here with a good foundation needed to become a safe driver so that his students can improve their standard of living. 

Elijah Smith-Schlueter, Instructor

Elijah Smith-Schlueter is a College of DuPage Truck Driving School alum. Headshot of ElijahHe has six years of experience in the transportation industry. Smith-Schlueter was debating on becoming a paramedic, as he had been working as an EMT or getting into trucking. After researching both programs, he chose trucking. Because the CDL program is a short-term course, he could get to work quickly while making a decent living to support his family. Elijah has experience driving intermodal and double trailers. He was also an outreach worker driving a large RV in Chicago, which provided services to the homeless population. Elijah would recommend truck driving to others because of the high demand and importance of the job. He says, “Everything is delivered by truck. We would have nothing if it weren’t for the drivers.”

Mario Mendoza, Instructor

Mario Mendoza has over 25 years of experience as a commercial truck driver. Headshot of Mario MendozaHe has driven everything from dump trucks to tankers, local and over-the-road. He drove a tanker at his previous employer for 19 years where he was awarded 19 years of accident-free driving. Mario’s history of accident-free driving and extensive experience led him to be a driver-trainer at his former company. Mendoza went on to obtain his CDL Instructor’s License because he wanted to make a difference and help people gain the skills and knowledge to be a safe driver. He says, “Truck Driving is a great career for people who like to drive. It’s fun and you can make a good living while doing something you love.”

Contact Information

College of DuPage Truck Driving School
301 S. Swift Road, Door 6
Addison, Illinois 60101-1495
(630) 942-2275