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Students learn from industry professionals

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Special to the Brush News Tribune 

Helping students and their families make informed decisions through meaningful career conversations was the cornerstone mission of an eighth-grade career fair presented Feb. 13 for students from Brush, Caliche, Weldon Valley and Wiggins.
Students attended six different presentations by local professionals.

Prior to arriving at the career fair, students filled out a survey and selected four career paths they wanted to learn more about and one alternative. Students were assigned one presentation depending on the career pathway they selected. 

During the morning welcome, career fair coordinator, Kristie Ham, told students that it is just as important to learn what they don't want to do for a living as learning what they want to do for a living. She also told students that they could be sitting in front of a future employer, so they should take the time to ask good questions and start building their network of professionals.

Students traveled to the Morgan County fairground, which was made available to them free-of-charge by the Morgan County commissioners. As students entered the front doors, they found 38 tables with professionals sitting with eight chairs for students at each table. On the table was the name of the career.

One of the morning goals was to have students in small enough groups that they felt welcomed to listed to the presenter's career journey and ask questions. Students spent 20 minutes at each presentation. Students also attended a keynote speaker presentation put on by Joshua Gibb from Morgan County Workforce. His presentation asked students to get involved by identifying celebrities' first jobs and then he went on to tell students what the hot jobs and trends are predicted to be for the next five years in the immediate area.

The career paths represented included; administration by Brush Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Wilson; marketing by Jennifer Sampsel, Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center; human resource by Gayle Lindel, East Morgan County Hospital; banking by Bank of Colorado; financial advising by Wes Cable, Edward Jones; livestock managing by Becky Santomaso, Sterling Livestock Commission, and Marlin Eisenach, CSU Extension Agent; agronomy by Anthony Brass, CHS; wind energy by Jason Hazlett, Northeastern Junior College; veterinarian by Dr. Paul Chard, DVM, Cattleman's Resource; ferrier by Time Chadler; information technology by TC Travis, Wray Schools; engineering and linemen by Morgan County REA; emerging technologies by Mike Sullivan, Sedgwick County Economic Development; robotics by Larry Turner; preschool and child care by Barb Wacker, Brush UMC Head Start; chef and caterer by Peter Sisneros, East Morgan County Hospital; social work by Kassidy Clause, Centennial Mental Health; hospitality by Jamie Quint, Best Western; nursing by April Kendal, East Morgan County Hospital; lab technician by Lacy Barns, East Morgan County Hospital; rehab and physical therapy by Tim Brown, East Morgan County Hospital; certified nursing assistant by East Morgan County Hospital; law enforcement by Brush Police Department; psychology by Paul Heintzleman, Centennial BOCES; dentistry by Dr. Carly Schrade, Kimberly Suter Family Dentist; manufacturing by Barry Walters, Jr., Barry E Walter Sr. Company; manufacturing camp by Elinor Brown, Morgan Community College; drones and data collection by Tabitha Fainter, Wickham Tractor; construction and building by Buildings by Design; photography by Dave Samples, Lasting Images; and "What College is About" by Maria Cardenas, Morgan Community College.

Anyone wanting to present at next year's career fair should contact Kristie Ham at

The career fair was paid for by the El Pomar Foundation, who is funding the Northeastern Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Partnership (NECO PWR) grant for three years. In addition to putting on the career fair, NECO PWR is putting on the Career Development Institute for counselors, teachers, and administrators to learn more about local career, as well as creating a web-based resource center with postsecondary and workforce readiness information for teachers, students, parents, and counselors. Visit