JCOS Alumni

Where are they now?

Jeffco Open has a myriad of intellectual, passionate and unique individuals who have graduated or moved forward from our program. The following people have gone on to "Create the world as it ought to be."

Arthur Bruck
Arthur Bruck

The Open School prepared me for a life beyond the four walls of academic. After graduation, I entered the adult world not knowing what to learn, but how to learn. I found myself a step ahead of my counterparts in college because I knew how to investigate the world around me and understand a subject rather than simply memorize, regurgitate and brain dump. 

Post Open School graduation in 2007, I went to college and completed a four year BS degree in Human Services while simultaneously getting certified as a Nationally Registered Paramedic. I spent several years working for one of the most top notch paramedic divisions in the country, Denver Health, then pursued new aspirations on the East Coast. 

In 2014 I was hired with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue in Northern VA, just outside of Washington DC. During my time in Fairfax I felt a deep desire to further my service to my country. I joined the Washington, D.C. Army National Guard as a MEDEVAC flight medic. 

After spending a year in Afghanistan from 2018-2019, I returned to the D.C. area and proposed to my now fiancé.  Summer of 2019 I accepted a job with Arvada Fire and we moved back to the front range to be closer to family. I’m not sure where my life will take me next, but I credit the Open School with building the foundation my career and personal accomplishments have been built on.  Now I’m blessed to watch as my nephew gets the same top quality education my sister and I received, from a group of teachers and staff I still consider family.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

  Mark Anderson is a drummer/multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and engineer living in Denver, CO. Mark spent his twenties touring internationally and recording with the acclaimed band Paper Bird, as well as starting his career as a record producer. He has recorded and collaborated with Nathaniel Rateliff, John Oates,  and members of The Lumineers, The Fray, Beach House, Foxygen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Devotchka,  Alex Cameron and many more. He also loves his cat Hyggy, reading, sewing and movies.

Esther Honig

Esther Honig

Esther Honig graduated from JCOS in 2008 and now works as a journalist. She’s reported stories from across the US for many publications, including NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marketplace. In 2017, she was named best reporter by the Ohio Associated Press. Esther studied at the Autonomous National University of Mexico as an international student before transferring to Mills College in Oakland California, where she graduated with a degree in Spanish. In 2013, she lived in Santiago, Chile where she completed a fellowship with non-profit microfinance organization, Kiva.

Esther is the creator of a viral Photoshop project called Before & After. The collection of images has received over 11 million views on YouTube and Esther has presented at universities across the country, as well as Tedx Vancouver. To date the collection has been exhibited in major museums across the world, including the National Science and Media Museum in the UK and the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. In 2020, Esther is moving back to Mexico where she’ll spend the next year reporting on immigration and the impacts of climate change. To see her work you can follow her on twitter @EstherHonig

Erik Martonavich

Erik Martonavich
Big Horse Productions has been breaking the mold in equine entertainment since 1997.

Big Horse Productions was created in 1997 by Erik Martonovich. Erik was a well known competitive vaulter. He competed all over the United States and Europe. Erik always stood out in the competition arena, performing more for the audience than the judges and always doing things with a little more 'edge' than others. He then decided he would have more fun performing to an audience permanently and made it his career. In 1999, he asked fellow vaulting competitor Alethea Shelton to join him in this adventure, and they began to create acts to bring to the road, calling themselves Big Horse Productions (or BHP), as they were very well known for their enormous Belgian draft horses. 

They started taking their acts on the road, performing at various events. In 2003, one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil (Normand Latourelle) found and approached them. He was creating a show, later known as "Cavalia". They were performing artists in this successful multi-media equestrian production for over two years. After the tour, they moved to Las Vegas, NV.

Benjamin R. Teitelbaum

Benjamin R. Teitelbaum
Benjamin R. Teitelbaum is an ethnographer of contemporary radical nationalism in Europe, a performer of Scandinavian folk music, and Head of Nordic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He earned his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Brown University, and has also studied at Harvard University, the Stockholm Royal College of Music, Bethany College, and the Eric Sahlström Institute. Teitelbaum has written and presented on topics ranging from folk-tune collecting in 1800s Sweden, white nationalist hip hop and reggae, and Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. And his analysis and commentary on radical nationalism in Scandinavia has appeared in various print media and radio outlets in Sweden, Norway, and the United States, including Aftonbladet, (Norwegian) Dagbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Sveriges Radio, NRK Radio, and the New York Times. As a musician, he specializes in Swedish folk music and Sweden's unofficial national instrument, the nyckelharpa. Having earned the first degree in nyckelharpa performance awarded outside Sweden, he tours nationally and internationally as a performer and teacher.

John Roos

​John Roos
I am currently at the Corner office in the country! There's a lot of moving parts growing an ocean of apples in Washington state.  People, plants, water, soil, chemicals and sales all mix to create a delicious staple food.  Open school gave me a degree in applied passion, minor in responsibility, perseverance, and decision-making.  JCOS goal's have me rediscovering the joy of learning, whether I want to or not.  Learners prevail in this fast paced industry and it all comes down to "Boots on the ground".  Planning is great yet in the field is where the food is.  Get out there and get all hands on deck!
It's a struggle to prioritize and understand the many facets as passages.  Adventure is becoming an adult and obtaining my dream farm.  
Career includes becoming a professional, staying on-task and understanding emotional intelligence.
Creativity... where would I begin?
Global awareness includes speaking Spanish all day and understanding the implications of ag practices on environment and work forces abroad.
Logical inquiry I leave up to the office staff, while keeping a keen eye on why upper management makes decisions. 
Practically, I can drive heavy machinery, weld, negotiate, grow millions in fruit, hire & fire, keep organized, be responsible for my actions and those in my team, and make sure everyone goes home safe!
This is just the beginning, and am looking forward to fully realizing the lessons in life to carry forward, and a good harvest. All thanks to the Open School!


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