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Student travels to Japan via CMC

Cindy Ramunno
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PHOTO: “Aaron & Erina” in LOCAL NEWS BASEVIEW



The Berman boys know how to make the most of their time and save money doing it. Aaron and Zack – 21 and 17, respectively – have used Colorado Mountain College to the maximum, taking college courses and earning degrees and skipping traditional high school.

Many in the valley know the boys’ parents, Larry and Donna Berman. The couple has been married 24 years and came to the valley when Aaron was just in elementary school. “I credit Edwards Elementary for exposing our kids to the wonderful world of diversity,” says dad Larry. “Diversity is one of the many great things about this valley.” The Berman couple especially Donna was instrumental in creating the valley’s only charter school, the Eagle County Charter Academy.



When both boys left high school, they enrolled in Colorado Mountain College to begin their higher education. Larry says that he doesn’t think the college does this type of program anymore, as Zack was ‘grand fathered’ in.

Both boys are Phi Beta Kappa and have earned mostly straight As at the college.

But some parents and school leaders say it’s not the right way to go and that kids need the high school academics first. Larry responds to that by saying, “If you get all As in college-level courses, then it’s not inappropriate.”



Aaron is now 21 and holds degrees in Cisco network engineering and computer science. He is pursuing his doctorate in nanotechnology robotics and is living in Okazaki, Japan. Chiba University in Japan has invited Aaron to study, so for the past year he has immersed himself in the culture and language.

Another positive outcome of that decision a social outcome has been meeting his future wife there. Aaron is engaged to be married to Erina Kawata, a 21-year-old nursing student.

Zack is a 17-year-old junior in college, yet his social life revolves around students at Battle Mountain High School. He’s majoring in business and when his friends are entering college for the first time as freshmen, he will already be a senior.

Dad Larry says he’s proud and has some extra coins to line his pockets. “CMC has been the best resource for our family and I’ve saved a fortune on tuition,” he says.


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