Welcome to our series, #WHYoming, brought to you in partnership by Kaumo Law.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
This week, I had a chance to sit down with Colt Klements, an English teacher at Green River High School. During his five years at GRHS, Colt has taught World Literature and Mythology, Studies in Film, Journalism, and Yearbook. He is also involved with the GRHS Ski/Snowboard Club.
Colt was born and raised in Wyoming, and it seems to be the perfect place for his active lifestyle. When he’s not teaching in the classroom, he is outdoors. Whether he is hiking, snowboarding, biking, rock climbing, hunting, or something else, he enjoys keeping active and being in nature.
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Colt, how long have you been teaching at GRHS, and what do you like about it?
I am currently teaching my fifth year at GRHS. There are so many reasons of why I like teaching here. I have absolutely wonderful co-workers, the administrations is great, we have an excellent facility, the community is always behind us, and the students are my ultimate joy here.
Why did you become a teacher?
I had a number of great teachers growing up and I always admired how much time and effort they put into students’ lives. The English teachers that I had in the past especially affected my life and made me a better learner. This definitely instilled in me a passion to teach. I want to be that driving force in my students’ lives.
How did you end up in Green River?
I honestly only interviewed at GRHS for the interview experience, but after interacting with the administrators, faculty and other staff I fell in love with the school and its programs.
That love has only multiplied since I have been here. My coworkers, neighbors, and friends that I have made since moving here will be cherished forever.
What is something unique about you?
I used to hate English growing up. I’ve never hated reading, but I never liked writing as a kid. Reading, though, used to be my escape.
Also, I usually work in the oilfield during the summer, because I appreciate the work and don’t like being bored.
Also, also, I played soccer at WWCC for two years.
What are some of your hobbies?
Anything outdoors! I love hiking, biking, hunting, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, paddle boarding, wakeboarding, and kayaking.
I also love ALL sports. Playing or watching sports has always been a favorite past time of mine.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
The people, first and foremost. We are lucky to live in a community with so much kindness and compassion. From strangers on the street to people at the grocery store, everyone is truly kind and willing to help their neighbor.
My second favorite part is the outdoor life. I spend most of my days after school biking or hiking on the multitude of trails that are offered around here. I also love that I can shoot my bow outdoors whenever I want.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
This is a little confusing, but I guess it would be what I tell my students every Friday before the weekend, “Have fun, make smart decisions, and brush your teeth.”
Everyone needs to have fun, no matter how busy they are. Everyone needs to think before they act or speak. And God only gave us one set of teeth so we need to take care of them so we can smile at one another.
Left: Colt with his girlfriend, Katie, in Paris. Center: Colt rock climbing. Right: Colt with his family.
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
The Wilkins Peak Trail System. I love mountain biking and Green River has some of the best trails in Wyoming. The views and terrain out there are one of a kind.
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse, or drive a car?
Bike. I hate sitting still and love to exercise, so, yeah, bike.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
Ugh! Backstreet Boy’s ‘Everybody’ (Which I have done in front of the whole student body) or DJ Kool’s ‘Let Me Clear My Throat’.
How would your friends describe you?
Umm, caring, I guess. I would do anything for my friends. Either that or funny. They say that I am good at making them laugh.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments?
I guess my proudest accomplishment would be receiving my BA at the University of Wyoming. I was not a very good student in high school and fought to become a good student in college.
I was and still am proud of becoming an “adult” and focusing and working so hard to finish with all A’s. I also always wanted to graduate from UW, and I am proud to say that I did.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Brad Pitt, duh. He is my all time favorite actor. I love nearly every movie that he is in.
Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?
I was born and raised in Wyoming, but that is not why I continue to live here. The motto ‘Forever West’ is so true for this state. I love that you can get away from people, cell service, and enjoy the public land that is offered to us.
People outside of Wyoming do not understand this and it truly makes me sad. We have the opportunity to do all outside recreational activities, which is rare for one state. The people that come from Wyoming are unique as well.
We are all cowboys in one way or another. Whether we are ranchers, hunters, teachers, oilfield worker, or if we just walk through -5 degree weather. We can stand things that other people cannot. Wyoming is beautiful. In every season it has something more to show. I will never tire of what Wyoming has to offer.