Moffat County Class of 2019 Graduation: Following in family footsteps toward future
This year, a handful of Moffat County High School graduates are setting out to carry on the family tradition. From business to education, these students plan to follow in the footsteps their parents and in some cases, grandparents and great-grandparents.
For a young man who likes being outside and has a natural instinct for hard work, a career in construction seems like an obvious fit. This rings true all the more for Grady Anson, who’s grown up in the local business run by his parents, Anson Excavating.
Mike and Mardi Anson started Anson Excavating 21 years ago, offering Grady his first job his freshman year of high school. Since then Grady has played many roles, from laborer to surveyor to now, earning his commercial driver’s license.
“Grady is a very hard worker. He has this sixth sense of what comes next,” said his mother, Mardi Anson. “Our boys, they’ve grown up on a ranch and they know how to run equipment. They have grown up learning how to work… We seem to fit family into work.”
For the last two years, Grady has finished school at 2 p.m. each day on early release so he could go to work. For fun, the Ansons also raise and show draft horses, a pastime that involves, of course, more work.
Grady plans to attend Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction in the fall to study construction management with a certificate in surveying. Though he started out wanting to become a mechanic, more experience on the job sparked his interest in earning the four-year degree.
“The surveying is probably what I’m most interested in,” Grady said. “I’ll probably come back and help Dad out, and if I get a chance, maybe work somewhere else to learn how someone else runs a company.”
From the time Brad Cook was a little boy sitting in the kitchen pantry trying to sell soda to his parents, he knew he wanted to be a businessman.
“I want to say it’s almost genetic,” he said. “I remember ever since I was young, I was interested in business… I could never see myself in anything but business.”
Whether it’s nature or nurture, Brad indeed comes from a line of successful businessmen — his grandfather started Cook Chevrolet in Craig 54 years ago, a dealership now run by his father, Scott Cook. Brad has been working in the business since 2013 and will begin his first season on the sales floor this summer, setting off in the fall to earn a business degree from Colorado Mesa University.
“I definitely would like to be in the family business, but with a business degree, the possibilities are pretty endless,” Brad said.
Though Brad brings a much-needed savvy with technology to the dealership — he helps keep up the website and social media in addition to working on the wash racks — Scott Cook encourages both of his sons, including Brad’s older brother, Brent, to take their time in deciding what they want to do with their lives.
“The biggest thing is they need to go experience some of the world and they need to get an education,” Scott said. “The world is changing fast and they need to be a lot smarter than I am.”
But amid all the changes, it’s his dad’s work ethic that has left a big impression on Brad.
“How much time he puts in after this many years still, his dedication,” Brad said. “He’s here the earliest and leaves the latest. I don’t know how to put it in words, he’s just a good role model. Cars are in my blood.”
Coming from a long line of teachers including her mom, aunt, grandmother and great-grandparents, Trinity Schenck always knew she wanted to be a teacher. That is, until she decided she wanted to study psychology and become a school counselor instead.
“My free times were spent in school with my mom, so I grew up in that setting,” Trinity said. “But I had a not-so-great experience with my middle school counselors when I was having a hard time, so I just wanted to be the person to show students that you actually do care and that their voices do matter, that if they’re hurting in school or personal life, someone truly is there to listen.”
She hasn’t waivered from her plan since that moment, using her high school years to take every class she could in psychology and sociology as a concurrent enrollment student at Colorado Northwestern Community College. The ambitious senior will enter the University of Northern Colorado as a second-semester sophomore with 46 transfer credits.
There, she plans to obtain a bachelors degree in psychology followed by a double masters in school psychology and counseling.
“This year she just blossomed,” said her mother, Krista Schenck, a business, marketing and technology teacher at MCHS. “She’s taking care of deadlines and she’s organized and she’s so excited about planning and taking care of her future… I think she’s wicked excited for the next adventure.”