Student Spotlight: Wes Engstrom |

Student Spotlight: Wes Engstrom

Roaring Fork High School senior Wes Engstrom is a student of many arts, from music to graphic design to woodworking. Perhaps his most dramatic endeavor is a large wooden boat he’s building with one of his classmates.

Tell us about your boat.

Me and my friend Nick Penzel are building a drift boat — like the dories that are popular on the Grand Canyon. We’ve been working on that for about a year now. Our woods teacher built one in high school himself, and so he’s helping us out.

We’ve been working on it up at my dad’s workshop since last spring. It’s 16 feet and still coming together, so we don’t want it just sitting at the school. Our goal is to get it done by the time it’s time to float in the late spring.

Are you a big rafter?

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I go out during the summer once or twice a week to some stretch around here, whether it’s on a stand up paddle board or a raft. We like getting out on the river. I’ll definitely have to learn more to row a boat made of wood and not break it in half.

Tell us about your interest in music.

I started playing guitar about five years ago and writing my own stuff maybe two years ago. I tried the cello, too, but I’ve been leaning more toward the guitar, and I’ve been performing around town a bit. I sing, too. I’m starting to branch out a bit, but main influences are probably Shakey Graves, the Wood Brothers, the Revivalists — kind of that singer songwriter aspect.

Any other interests you’d like to share?

I’m part of the Aspen Valley Ski Club nordic team. I practice with them five days a week. I raced my sophomore year and got into state and placed in the top 30. I really enjoyed that, but I wasn’t too fond of the competitive atmosphere. I’m a pretty relaxed guy, and I didn’t really like what it brought out in me. I don’t know if I’ll race this year or not.

What are your plans for after high school?

I’ve applied to CSU and CU and been accepted to Montana State and Fort Lewis.

Part of me wants to graphic design, but the other half wants to do wildlife biology. I did an internship with the Forest Service in the summers, and it was really awesome going outside and doing a job, so the idea of working in the field to me sounds awesome.

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