Students shadow county employees |

Students shadow county employees

Cindy Ramunno
Vail Daily/Coreen Sapp Vail Christian student Kyle Morris listens as assistant county attorney Bryan Treu explains some of the responsibilities of his job during Eagle County's Government Shadow Day on Monday.

It’s shadow time again. In a slew of activities this week, students from Vail Christian and Eagle Valley high schools spent Monday on the job with county employees.

Eagle County has hosted “Shadow Day” for the last 10 years – always during National Government Week. Students get a taste of life after school and a chance to experience the work up close.

In addition to shadowing employees, students are offered a glimpse into how local government works. “The specific day is always held on board day during that week, so students are also exposed to board proceedings for the day,” says the county’s marketing and communications manager, Deborah Churchill, referring to the weekly county commission meeting.

Past students say the meeting is always interesting and educational. Also, shadowing employees gives them career ideas, students say.

Eagle County government has many departments for students to sample – including an attorney’s office, health workers, environmental managers and road crews, among others.

Support Local Journalism

Shadow Day began at 9:15 a.m. for 54 students. Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone welcomed the group, who were then introduced to employees and given student assignments.

Stone quizzed the students on the significance of the day – Monday was Patriot’s Day, a regional holiday traditionally celebrated in New England.

After a morning of work, the students’ afternoon began with a “State of the County” address by Stone. After a brief Web site preview, students were given a choice at 1:30 p.m. – continue shadowing or attend the county commission meeting. For many, that choice was a tough one.

Stone says it’s his most enjoyable meeting of the year.

“It’s a wonderful introduction to government at the local level,” he says.

Students can experience whatever portion of county government that’s of interest to them, Stone says.

“Students get the full spectrum of opportunities,” Stone adds. Stone credits county staff members for making the event a success each year. “It’s really great that our county staff is so welcoming – it’s a fun day for all of us,” he says.

For more information on county youth programs, call 328-8600.

Students work with reading volunteers

As part of National Government Week, local high school students participating in Eagle County’s “Shadow Day,” Monday, joined members of The Eagle County Retired Senior Volunteer Program at Gypsum Elementary School to read to children who are striving to improve their comprehension skills.

Prior to the school visit, retired seniors visited with the high school students to discuss the importance of volunteer work.

“The goal for the students this year was to collectively read and pass computerized comprehension for 12,000 books,” says Mike Gass, Gypsum Elementary School principal. “We needed volunteers to read to the students to help us achieve that goal.”

Several seniors, including Eagle residents Johnnette Phillips, Gloria Reed, MaryBeth Helmrich and Jan Connors, have signed up to read to the children until the end of the school year.

Support Local Journalism