Summit High students consider potential futures at career fair |

Summit High students consider potential futures at career fair

summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FARMER’S KORNER – Summit High School students on Thursday explored futures ranging from coroner to fitness instructor or even newspaper editor at a school career fair.

“I’m still looking,” said Gerhard Van Andel, 16, who likes to study math and science.

Van Andel said he works as a ski instructor at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and is considering attending the Air Force Academy.

He and other 11th graders met with professionals from a variety of fields in the high school commons area, where they asked questions and even won prizes at the Colorado Workforce Center-hosted event. The remainder of SHS students hit the fair later in the day.

Though the national recession has hiked the U.S. unemployment rate to more than 10 percent and Colorado to about 7 percent, many SHS students are aiming to pursue a range of opportunities through college.

Jill Seal with the Frisco Workforce Center said medical fields continue to appear promising as more people will be needing services in the coming years.

“We try to help students find careers and explore their interests so that once they graduate, they have a plan,” she said.

Tyler Petty, 16, said she’s aiming to be a veterinarian. She’s taken medical preparation classes and plans to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Several students on Thursday took interest in a Red, White and Blue Fire District booth.

At the nearby Summit County Coroner’s Office booth, deputy coroner Jim Cox explained the requirements and job description of investigating deaths, notifying next of kin and more.

“It does take a certain type of person,” Cox said. “I’ve found it very interesting. It can be a challenge.”

He’s been with the office for nearly a year and said much of the work is learned through hands-on experience. A deputy coroner in training must attend at least five autopsies and visit the scenes of at least one death, one suicide and one motor vehicle accident.

He said a background in medicine is recommended but not required, and that he and his wife came from engineering and marketing backgrounds before working part-time for the coroner’s office.

He said there are requirements for continuing education courses, and some of the coursework includes such classes as investigating on homicides and drownings.

“You can’t be grossed out,” Cox said while discussing a body discovered after decomposing for three to four weeks in a heated townhome.

Several of the high school students Thursday had their sights set on something that involved their passions.

Ian Parker, 16, he’d like to be a professional musician or “something to do with math.”

He said he’s already taken or enrolled in “every band class offered in the school.”

Kathleen Moore, 17, said she might get involved in a “theater-related” career – perhaps something backstage – or something to do with skiing. She plans on attending the University of Northern Colorado.

“I’m still a little unsure, but (am considering) a lot of options,” she said.

Robert Allen can be contacted

at (970) 668-4628 or

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