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Athens Private Driving Instructors

Athens Georgia private driving instructor Elly Creager

Elly Creager

State Licensed Owner / Training Instructor


Meet Elly: Owner and Instructor Trainer

Elly Creager is the owner of Athens Driving Prep. She trains driving instructors and still does some student instruction, mostly with special-needs drivers. She grew up racing on dirt tracks, gained thousands of hours of experience as a heavy equipment operator, and earned CDL-A and motorcycle endorsements. She is also a retired professional figure skating coach; with a lifetime of training young adults, Elly has been cultivating driving and teaching skills for virtually her entire life.

Elly acknowledges that the age of electronics has not only changed the way people behave behind the wheel, but also how they learn. That’s why she designed this school to be nothing like your grandpa’s driving school; piling some kids into the school car with the gym coach is no longer enough. She designed Athens Driving Prep for a customized, one-on-one experience to include direct and open communication with parents and students. It comes with a progressive yet flexible curriculum, personalized lesson plans, detailed progress reports, practice guides, and training routes to help families work with their new drivers, all of which she continually tweaks and reevaluates. 

“I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up- until I taught my first driving lesson. This is my passion; I feel so strongly about the importance of developing a safe, assertive driving culture that I opened Athens Driving Prep as my retirement project. I want my students to come away with a love for the art of driving- or at least a healthy respect for the skills- rather than just seeing it as a means of convenience.”

Elly and her husband, Jim, live in Madison County. They enjoy camping, backpacking, scuba diving, riding motorcycles, rock-hounding, and taking their grandchildren hiking and fishing.

Ian Bowen Athens Private Driving Instructor

Ian Bowen

Driving Instructor

Meet Ian: Driving Instructor

Ian Bowen is a retired police sergeant with experience in the patrol division, criminal investigations, SWAT and training new officers. Ian earned his Master’s in Education from UGA and has a wide range of experience as an instructor. Ian helped develop the first Bearcat Armored vehicle operator course for his previous department, coached new police officers through car chases and navigating the streets of Athens, and has taught Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to kids and adults. 

Ian currently works-full time in the private sector as a fraud investigator within a remote work environment. He came to Athens Driving Prep to re-engage the learning and development space on a part-time basis, where he can work with learners face-to-face and facilitate skills-based performance improvement.

“I really enjoy working with individuals and helping people bridge a knowledge/skills gap. Furthermore, we are truly helping develop a culture of safe, mindful driving, one person at a time. We are trying to develop behaviors that are pro-social and not perpetuating a self-centered mentality so often seen on the roads today. I think most people would agree that courteous, safe drivers benefit everyone on the road, which has a net positive social effect.”

Ian and his family live in Oconee County, where he is the primary driving instructor on weekends.

Chris Armel Athens Driving Instructor.jpeg

Chris Armel

Driving Instructor

Meet Chris: Driving Instructor

Chris Armel is a middle grades math teacher, currently working as a special education co-teacher at Madison County Middle School. Chris’ undergraduate degree is in history, and has earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Piedmont College as well as a Specialist from Valdosta State University. 

Chris is a retired police officer, having served for 15 years in various roles. These included detective, field training officer, accident reconstructionist, and motorcycle officer. Chris is married to his high school sweetheart, who is also a teacher. They have been married for 21 years, and have two sons together. 

Swimming and music occupy most of Chris’ free time. His youngest child plays violin and clarinet, while his oldest swims for club and school swim teams. Chris also coaches Madison County’s school swim team, and volunteers as a USA Swimming official at club meets. 

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