Moffat County graduates prepare for next level of school |

Moffat County graduates prepare for next level of school

Lauren Blair
Jerica DeLong shows off her Grand Champion ribbon in the Junior Market Lamb competition at the 2015 National Western Stock Show.
Courtesy Photo

— Moffat County High School’s freshest crop of graduates are making big plans for the future. From engineering to agriculture to culinary arts, here’s a sampling of what’s ahead for the class of 2015:

Jerica DeLong

A Craig resident her entire life, Jerica DeLong is passionate about animals. She will be attending Casper College in Wyoming to earn her associate’s of animal science degree and plans to transfer to a four-year college to earn a degree in livestock reproduction.

“I want to be able to AI — artificially inseminate — and do embryo transfer work for sheep and cattle in the show industry,” DeLong said. “Since we raised lambs, I pretty much grew up with them, so especially for sheep I have a really strong passion for working with them.”

DeLong has been involved in 4-H since age 8. During her high school years, she participated in Future Farmers of America and took advantage of classes such as Intro to Animal Science, Horticulture and Wildlife Management.

Christopher Kling

Math and science nut Christopher Kling can hardly wait to get his hands on all of the engineering toys at the University of Colorado-Boulder this fall, where he plans to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering.

“I’ve always loved math and science so ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to be an aerospace engineer,” Kling said. “I love planes, and I actually have a plane collection at my house.”

He described with enthusiasm the metal shop, wood shop, engineering computers, wind tunnel and 3-D computers that he’ll eventually get to work with in his course of study. His favorite course this year was Advanced Placement Physics taught by Evan Gaffney, and he’s also participated in the swim, golf and speech and debate teams all fours years at MCHS.

“They’ve taught me to work hard for what I want,” Kling said.

Deniqua Williams

A native of Nassau, New Providence, in the Bahamas, Deniqua Williams moved to Craig nearly three years ago with her mother and brother. The change in scenery was a bit of a shock, Williams said, but eventually she got used to it.

“People kept asking if we had McDonald’s in the Bahamas and if we were used to wearing shoes,” Williams said. “I started making friends and then I felt comfortable.”

Williams loves singing, creative writing and most of all, cooking. She currently works at the Castle Ranch Steakhouse at the Clarion Inn & Suites, and hopes to attend culinary arts school, possibly back in the Bahamas.

“I love to cook. I always wanted to have a soup kitchen,” Williams said. “I want it to be set up like a fancy restaurant for the people that didn’t have experience of being able to sit in a fancy restaurant and eat fancy food, I always pictured that. I want it to be located in several places, like in the Bahamas and in the United States.”

Conner Kopsa

Leadership and business have been central components of Conner Kopsa’s high school career, but he recently decided he may take a different turn in his college studies. Kopsa will attend the University of Colorado Denver and plans to major in environmental science and pre-law.

“I’m really passionate about environmental science and conservation, and I thought (law) would be a really good tool to use to fight for the environment,” Kopsa said.

Kopsa was the vice president this year of both Future Business Leaders of America and DECA, was secretary of Key Club and was also involved in Youth United Way and student council.

“I’m definitely looking forward to meeting new people, getting out there and just experiencing something that I’ve never experienced before,” Kopsa said.

Treann Quick

Treann Quick is hatching a plan to put her love of science, leadership and service to work through a degree in civil engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

“I hope to someday go to a third-world country and bring clean water and sanitation to people who don’t currently have access to it,” Quick said. “I also plan to study abroad while I am at Purdue.”

Quick has been a leader in student council, speech and debate, National Honor Society, Key Club and a participant in the Global Ozone Project during her tenure at MCHS. She is looking forward to the different atmosphere Purdue will offer.

“They have 40,000 students there, and we only have 10,000 people in Craig,” Quick said. “I’m just really excited to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people.”

Luis Lopez

One of MCHS’s star soccer players — he tied for the highest number of goals scored this season — Luis Lopez is hoping to attend the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs.

Lopez said he is interested in “helping out other people with their needs.” He hopes to stay in Glenwood Springs and dreams of becoming a state trooper.

Lopez was also a member of the track and field team his senior year, competing in high jump and the 300-meter hurdles. A soccer player since the age of 5, he hopes to continue his soccer career in college.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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