Tuesday, July 14, 2015

By Will Bublitz

When you call or stop by the office of The Limon Leader and Eastern Colorado Plainsman, there is a good chance you will be talking with 18-year-old Kyle Berndt, the local newspapers' new classified advertising manager.

Kyle joined the staff on June 16 as a paid intern. While working full time at present, he will be switching to a part-time status during his senior year at Limon High School that begins in August.
"I wanted to work for the newspaper because my goal is to major in either journalism or creative writing in college," he said. "I'm really enjoying this experience because I'm learning how the newspaper is put together."

As the classified manager, Kyle’s job is handle the advertisements for the newspapers.
“People send in the ads they want printed in the paper,” he said. “This is interesting because I never realized before how many different kinds of jobs are wanted in Limon. I’m learning what is in demand and what isn’t. I’m also learning how much the public relies on the newspaper to get their ads out there. I’d always thought the Internet was better, but not so much now.”
In addition to handling the classified advertising, Kyle answers the phone and greets customers who come into the newspaper office located on Main Street in Limon.

“This job requires you to be good at public relations,” he said. “You have to really be able to talk to people. It’s not the kind of job where you make them a sandwich and then say bye.”
Kyle’s duties also include printing the mailing labels and assisting with the inserting of advertising flyers on Wednesdays, which is the distribution day for both The Limon Leader and Eastern Colorado Plainsman weekly newspapers.

While his job requires a lot of administrative work, Kyle is not setting aside his ambitions to become a writer. In fact, he volunteered to write his own weekly column entitled “The More You Know”.
“I’m putting my own thoughts into these columns,” he said. “I’m really enjoying this kind of writing because I don’t usually don’t get to do that in writing for school. It’s fun to express my opinions in the newspaper.

“I’ve already gotten some encouraging feedback from family and friends on what I’ve written. And having some of my writings published in a newspaper will look good on my resume.”

Kyle said that his ambition to have a career in writing began while he was growing up here in Limon. The son of Reed and Cathy Berndt, he has lived in Limon for about half of his life along with his twin brother James, who will also be a senior at Limon High School this school year. Their family also includes their 12-year-old sister, Grace, who was adopted from China.

 “I was born in Albuquerque, N.M. and we lived in the nearby rural community of Edgewood for three years,” he said. “We then moved to Boise, Idaho for a year because of my Dad’s work with the CCA Mental Health Department. After that, we relocated to Burlington, Colo. for the next six years. Finally, we moved to Limon when James and I were in the fourth grade.”
Kyle admits that all the moving made it difficult to make friends.

“It was tough moving here to Limon because I still had a lot of town and school pride from living in Burlington,” he said. “But after a year, I made some really good friends including James Larson, Matthew Florek and Javon Byas. That has made all the difference.”

Kyle has proven himself to be an excellent student at the Limon High School. His academic achievements earned an induction into the National Honor Society during his junior year.
In addition, he has been percussionist in the high school’s Honor Band for the past three years.
“I’ve been playing percussion since fifth grade and played in the Praise Band at Hi-Plains Baptist Church,” he said. “In my freshman year at Limon High School, I was third chair in the Honor Band, but by my sophomore year I was first chair. Last year, I was offered a band scholarship for Colorado State University - Pueblo by the Honor Band Director, Dr. Alan Mills, who is the Director of Bands in the Department of Music at CSU-Pueblo.”

Kyle also has been a member of Limon’s Knowledge Bowl Team since he was a freshman. Over the past three years, he has helped the Badgers earn several awards during competitions.
While he is very academically oriented, Kyle also has been a serious athlete in Limon High School sports. He has been a member of the Badger basketball and track teams for three years. During his junior year, he also competed on the high school’s cross country and football teams.

“My favorite sport is track,” he said. “I used to do hurdles, but after an accident in my sophomore year, I’m now focusing on the 800-meter run.”

During his sophomore year, he qualified and competed in the state track meet in the 4 x 800-meter relay with teammates Layne Higgins, Tanner Dunaway and Gavin Liggett. Last spring, he again qualified for state in the 4 x 800-meter relay with Higgins, Dunaway and Nathan Arnold. Additionally, he qualified in the 4 x 400-meter relay with James Berndt, Tanner Dunaway, James Larson and Thomas Payne.

“We went into the state meet ranked 20th in the 4 x 400, but we finished in eighth place,” he said.
As he prepares for his senior year at Limon High School, Kyle is already looking ahead to college. While tempted by the CSU-Pueblo music scholarship, he is seriously considering other options.

“Right now, I’ve looking into Colorado Christian University in Lakewood,” he said. “I want to attain a bachelor’s degree in either English, creative writing or journalism. From there, I’ll either go into youth ministry or journalism. I might even try becoming an author.”

During the year ahead, Kyle plans to put together a portfolio of his writings wth the assistance of Mrs. Peggy Niebur of the English Department at Limon High School.

“I’d like to be able to publish some of my short stories and essays,” he said. “I’ll also be taking college-level English courses with Mrs. Niebur and an online College English class through Morgan Community College this fall.”

When he is not working, studying and participating in band or sports, Kyle does take time to relax and enjoy his favorite pasttimes.

“I really like hiking and fishing a lot,” he said. “Colorado is the best place to do them. I also love  skiing at either Arapahoe Basin or Monarch Mountain.”

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