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Kids these days

May 12, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

In the case of our Fremont County Students of the Year, the words are spoken in admiration

There is both a comforting similarity and an exciting variation in each year's group of Fremont County Students of the year.

This year's nine honored students, recognized May 6 at our newspaper's annual honors luncheon, exhibited the expected array of independence and educational diversity that are hallmarks of our Student of the Week/Student of the Year program.

See their picture elsewhere in this edition.

Education. Health care. Athletics. Business. Art. Skilled trades. Science. Each of these intended fields of study was listed by one or more of the students of the year at Monday's luncheon.

Consider Martina Standing Rock of Fort Washakie High School. She plans to enroll at Central Wyoming College in general studies, photography, and perhaps nursing with an eye toward a career in physical therapy.

Or Lucas Watkins of Lander Valley High School, who heads to the University of Wyoming with an eye on studies in both art and business. Heaven knows, too many artists don't have enough business sense, and that a lot of business people could use a dose of some of the finer things. This could be a good combination.

Central Wyoming College always demonstrates its importance to the local educational community at Student of the Year time, and that certainly is the case with Jessie Marie Dillon of Shoshoni High School. She told the luncheon audience of her plans to enroll at CWC and work toward an associate's degree which would set her on a career path in special education.

Vocational trades are at the center of planning for both Anthony Teran of Arapahoe Charter High School and Cody Flynn of Dubois high School. The former intends to earn a certificate in welding, a crucial job skill in today's expanding energy economy in Wyoming and Fremont County, while the latter is heading to Casper College to enroll in that school's two-year program in diesel mechanics. Chances are, good employment opportunities will await both students.

The same goes for Joe McLeod, Student of the Year at Wind River High School. Central Wyoming College has a highly regarded auto mechanics program, more properly called automotive technology, and the honored student plans to take advantage of it.

Abby Ehlers of Central Wyoming College is best known locally as a student athlete for CWC, but she is one of three students of the year aiming for college training in nursing. She intends to enroll at UW with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse.

Shoshanna Miller of Wyoming Indian high school is the other potential nursing student in the group. That could be her course of study at CWC, but she also expressed interest in information technology as well as enlistment in the Marines or the Air Force.

Definitely planning to wear the uniform of the United States after graduation is Shayni Fontanelle of St. Stephen's High School. First up next fall is a stint in the U.S. Army, followed, she hopes, by college training in criminal justice or forensic work.

There is a college-bound athlete in the group as well, Jordan Belleville of Riverton High School. He has committed to play college football at Black Hills State University in South Dakota. But he will do more than study the playbook, planning a major in either business or environmental science.

"Kids these days." From our vantage point at the Student of the Year luncheon, that is a phrase to be spoken in admiration, not criticism.

Congratulations to these fine students, our appreciation to the school volunteers who helped facilitate the Student of the Week program throughout the school year, enduring gratitude to the advertising sponsors who fund the scholarships that the students received, and a tip of the pressman's hat to news staffer Christina George, who wrote up the student profiles all year long.

We have chalked up another successful Student of the Week/Student of the Year program. This endeavor continues to reward and encourage us about the future of our community.

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