David Nolen (L) and Craig Griffin (R)
David Nolen (L) and Craig Griffin (R)

Eldorado students ranging from second graders through high school seniors attended and took part in the school’s annual college and career fair on Friday, February 1st.

College recruiters, military recruiters and representatives of several area employers were on hand to meet and discuss their careers with the students.

The day began with a bang as middle school and high school students gathered in the EHS auditorium where they heard from Rear Admiral Frank Mitchell Bradley.

Bradley graduated from EHS in 1987 before attending the U.S. Naval Academy where he graduated in 1991 and began his naval career.

By 1991, Bradley was a member of the elite Navy SEALs, rising from element leader to commanding officer in 2015. He continued his education even while serving his nation, earning a Masters Degree in Physics in 2006 from the Navy Postgraduate School.

Oddly enough, Bradley began preparing for his future career while growing up in Eldorado where fellow EHS graduate David Nolen remembers seeing him holding his breath while sitting on the bottom of the local swimming pool for minutes at a time as he became the undisputed sharks and minnows champion.

Bradley would go on to become a member of SEAL Team Four and eventually the Director of Transregional Threats Coordination Cell (J-5) where he works with United States coalition members to facilitate execution of the Defeat ISIS plan. Bradley, who was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral on September 2, 2017, was completing a two week mission in Mogadishu, Somalia as he spoke to the students via Skype connection. He took questions from students Jack Griffin and Jaydyn Doran.

Bradley told the students he always wanted to do something that mattered. His parting message to the students was to take their skills and talents and leverage them for good for society.

For his part, David Nolen told the students he graduated from Eldorado High School in 1990 and left to play basketball for Howard Payne University in Brownwood. He left the school two years later with a GPA of 1.9 and the realization that college wasn’t for him.

Nolen joined the United States Air Force and, as the years ticked by, he went on to attend four different colleges during his military career, graduating from Park University in Missouri with a 3.96 GPA in 2013. He retired from the Air Force with the rank of Master Sergeant in 2015.

Nolen currently works at the Sandia National Laboratories for the Department of Energy as an emergency planner. He said that, like Admiral Bradley, his military career took him places he never imagined when he left Eldorado. The experiences honed his skills as a contingency/war planner, master instructor in readiness and emergency management as he completed his 23-year career.

Nolen told the students that his military experience taught him skills he still uses to this day. One of the most important, especially in business life, is to always be on time.

Craig Griffin graduated from EHS in 1993 and thought he was headed to a career in physical therapy when he responded to Border Patrol advertisement in Del Rio. That prompted him to switch his major and apply for a job. Two and a half years later, Griffin finished up his college study and was hired by the Border Patrol who moved him to San Diego, California.

Griffin eventually came back to Texas but gives credit to his college study and good grades for helping him get hired by the Border Patrol as a Special agent.

Griffin was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent and transfered to Texas/Arkansas border, before being transferred to the San Angelo office where he is an agent for Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). He told the students that over the years his career has helped keep drugs, child molesters and child pornography off the streets.

Griffin encouraged the students to plan for the future and to consider a career with the Border Patrol.

Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran was also one of the speakers. He graduated from Eldorado High School in 1982 before joining the U.S. Army where he worked as and equipment operator and was stationed in Germany. He continued his Army career until 1988 when he left the service and went into law enforcement, first as a jailer and dispatcher at the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Department, then as a Deputy Sheriff.

Doran worked as a police officer for the Kerrville Police Department for a time, before returning to Eldorado where he was appointed Sheriff in 1996. Doran won election in November 1996 and has served as the county’s sheriff ever since, winning re-election in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. He is currently in his 31st year in law enforcement.

Joining Doran for the Career Fair was Lesa Romero who serves as the Jail Administrator. The pair shared their experiences with the students and encouraged them to seriously consider a career in law enforcement.

Among the individuals and businesses who participated in the College and Career Fair were:

• Keni Mac and Tim O’Brien, Anchor/Executive Producer of Fox West Texas

• Matthew Eubanks, Business Services Manager Concho Valley Workforce Solutions

• Eddie Albin and Neil Cooper, Member Services, Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative

• Kirk Curtis, Theater Management (CFO), Atlantic Theater Company, NYC (via Skype)

• Ann Lauer, Physical Therapist, Schleicher County Medical Center

• Bud Arendt, Welding and Metal Buildings, Encline Enterprises

• Chris Meador, Ranch Foreman, XBar Ranch, Mertz 05 Ranch

• Connie Andrews, Insurance Agent, Owner Mittel Insurance

• David Nolen, Emergency Planner, Sandia National Laboratory

• Hallie Sosolik, Photographer, Self-Employed

• Kelton May, Juvenile Probation Officer, San Angelo

• Lupe Sanchez, Probation Officer - Adult, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

• Ryan Castillo, Radiography Technologist, LMH Hospital

• Michelle McCants, Social Worker

• Mason Vaughn, President/CEO, First National Bank of Eldorado

• Chef Dave, Chef Andrew, Chefs - HEB

• Craig Griffin, Agent Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)

• Cy Griffin, Insurance Agent/Broker, Cauthorn and Griffin

• Jessica Sanchez, Registered Nurse, Shannon Medical Center

• Justin Leggett, Owner Children’s Lighthouse Learning Center

• Laci Kennedy, County Extension Agent, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension

• Lacy Finley, President/CEO, Tech Cumulus, Board Member/Archaeology, Shumla Archaeological Center

• Lauren Griffin, Student Advisor (Former), Texas A&M University

• Lesa Romero, Jail Admin-Communications Supervisor/Transport Officer, SC Sheriff’s Office

• Polli Guerro, Dental Hygienist

• Sgt. Justin Baker, Trooper, Texas Department of Public Safety

• William Griffin, Doctor LMH Hospital

• Brit Mynatt, Herdsman Six Mile Ranch, Powell Ranches

• Clara Rudewick, Estella Pina, Teachers, SCISD

• Clint Griffin, Attorney, Kosub and Griffin, LLP

• Crystal Jansa, Wedding Planner, Self employed

• Jon-Michael Parker, Chief Nursing Officer/Director of Nurses, Reagan County Hospital

• Kristi McCullar, Realtor, Keller Williams

• Megan Fay, Nurse, LMH Hospital

• Okshana Hernandez, Cosmetology, Pat’s Hair Salon

• Kate Pandofino, Program Manager Texas Tech University (via Skype)

• Katie Kidd, Pharmacist, Shannon Medical Center

• Kim-et Nelson, Branch Manager, 1st Community Federal Credit Union

• Mike Matthews, Physicain’s Assistant