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GSHS grads making waves in the big world beyond Glenwood

Paul Freeman
Roaring Fork School District
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
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How far can you go on the back of a Roaring Fork School District education?

Answer: All the way to Mars, or as close to Mars as you can get without actually leaving the Earth.

Joseph Carsten went from GSHS to the School of Mines, to Carnegie Mellon and, from there, to the world of robotics engineering and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. It was at NASA that Carsten helped develop software to control the movement of devices such as the Mars Rover, the little buggies that landed on Mars in 2004, after a six-month flight, and which are still chugging around long after there expiration date.



Also still on Earth, but over 9,000 miles away in Australia, is Ambra Scarlett working for the South Australia government training teachers to use new technology.

Some of our students show they are in a hurry in their first few days of college.



Anna Gauldin became the assistant sports editor for the CU Clarion in the first weeks of her freshman year. Gauldin learned the skills of sub-editing as a journalist on the GSHS newspaper, The Brimstone.

Also off to a fast start was Megan Gould who, in her first semester at Cornell, tested into Calculus III with one of the highest freshman scores, testimony to the excellent instruction she received in Calculus II at GSHS.

Jacob Ziemann, at the ripe old age of 25, is a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley with Glynn Capital Management. After GSHS, Ziemann studied at University College, Oxford, in the U.K., reading Jurisprudence, and attended Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School.

We recently received a letter from Patrick Kramer who, in a difficult economy, has had numerous employment offers from major steel manufacturing and processing corporations due to his ability as a metallurgical engineer. Another graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, Kramer attributes his success in interviews to the fact that “I took DECA in high school… the most beneficial class I have ever taken.” Now the world is his oyster.

The School of Mines is popular staging post with GSHS graduates. Michael Dunham remains in the race to be the Mines’ valedictorian having held on to his 4.0 through the two toughest semesters.

Many GSHS graduates journey into the medical field.

Brandy Rippy Drake is in her medical residency at Denver University. Katie Waibel, a 2003 graduate, is doing rotations for her doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Minnesota.

Proving that, for GSHS students, science is a well-traveled road – another alumnus currently working towards his doctoral degree is physicist Hansen Nordsiek.

GSHS students are not confined to careers in engineering and medicine.

Matt Hostetler graduated from the National Theater Conservancy and works regularly in film, television and the theater. Dan Young and Dan Sprick are renowned painters.

It is evident, from this glimpse at a few of our alumni, that an education in the Roaring Fork School District and GSHS can take you a long way.

In Dan Sprick’s case, the journey can go all the way to The Smithsonian art museum in Washington D.C., where one of his pictures hangs.

GSHS has produced many Boettcher scholars and a Rhodes Scholar. One day, perhaps, one of our graduates may have to travel to Stockholm to collect a Nobel Prize. Whatever our alumni are doing, we are sure that they are enjoying the ride.

– Paul Freeman is principal of Glenwood Springs High School


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