Highland Rambler

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Highland Rambler

Highland Rambler

Hackford-Peer Is Building Quite The Future

Billie Martinez & Red Gunn

Little kids have no filter. They love to ask questions about everything, and they speak about whatever is on their minds.

There is no way to predict what will come out of their mouths.

The case was no different when it came to Casey Hackford-Peer. According to one of his moms, Ruth Hackford-Peer, his curiosity began at an early age. Hackford-Peer loved solving problems and discovered an interest in mechanics when he was a young boy. Little did he know, he would later find himself diving further into these interests and they would help him earn the title of Sterling Scholar in skilled and technical sciences, making it all the way to the state finals.

“He had an ability to learn and access knowledge early on, if he had a question about anything, he would learn to find the answer,” Ruth said. “We just really tried to encourage him to keep developing those skills”.

Hackford-Peer has taken Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses every year he’s been at Highland. He loved the classes so much that he took the welding class and woodworking class three times each, as well as small engine repair his freshman year. CTE classes offer different opportunities for creativity to shine through and Hackford-Peer loves the ones he’s taken for different reasons.

“I like welding because it’s a lot more structured of a class like you have to get certain welds passed off and I think I learn more in that class,” Hackford-Peer said. “But I also like woodworking because it’s less structured and you kind of have more free range.”

Hackford-Peer hasn’t just used his knowledge from the courses in class, he’s used them outside of school as well. With the help of his other mom, he was able to completely renovate their basement. Home renovations are known for being difficult but by trusting the process and contributing their best efforts, they did it. Their basement became customized to be just what they had wanted.

“It was lots of hard work; he like literally built his own bedroom,” Ruth said. “And every time I go into the basement, I see their hard work and that makes me really proud.”

Hackford-Peer’s high school experience wasn’t just CTE classes, he also spent his junior year studying as a foreign exchange student in France, making his path different from most other high schoolers.

His year abroad was done through the Rotary Youth Exchange program which focuses on service and not just the individual student’s wants. This allowed Hackford-Peer to give back to the community he was temporarily joining. Though his family missed him, it was a great experience for Hackford-Peer.

“That was really really fun opportunity,” Hackford-Peer said. “I got to live with three different host families and go to school in France and kind of learn the language and what not.”

The family is excited to go to France this summer; they plan to visit Hackford-Peer’s host families and the school he attended during his time there.

Hackford-Peer has many other hobbies other than woodworking and welding; he also enjoys coin collecting and playing chess.

Hackford-Peer’s passion for coins began when he was around twelve years old, and he received some coins from his grandfather. He then joined a local coin club and later became a youth board member for the organization. He has also participated in several coin shows and earned several awards for his work.

Hackford-Peer now works at All About Coins in Sugarhouse. While juggling school and a job amongst other things, he also enjoys playing with a local chess club. He’s a busy teenager but loves what he does.

“We say that Hackford-Peer is eighteen but also eight but also ninety at the same time,” Ruth said. “He’s got these old people interests but also these young people interests and he’s just his own kid and I really value that about him.”

Proceeding high school, Hackford-Peer plans to attend and live on campus at the University of Utah. Along with the honor that comes with the title, sterling scholars also receive a reward of $5,000 to be used towards college and Hackford-Peer specifically also won $25,000 in scholarship money from Mountain America. His parents are very proud of him and excited to see what the future holds for Hackford-Peer.

It seems that with the help of all the skills he learned at Highland, he is building quite the future.

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