Class of 2018: A Hayden standout pursuing mechanical engineering |

Class of 2018: A Hayden standout pursuing mechanical engineering

Lebo Armendarez
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Those who know Hayden High School graduate Lebo Armendarez describe him as a standout with unlimited potential.

“It’s so nice working with a student who works so hard in everything they do,” said Kevin Klecker, who runs the school’s vocation program. “And, that’s something that deserves to be nurtured.”

Armendarez was born in Steamboat Springs and has spent most of his life in Hayden living on a ranch his father manages 27 miles to the south.

On good roads, that meant a 45-minute drive to school each day.

“For the past two years he has been here at 7 a.m. to be here for class,” Kleckler said. “Not only does he do that, but he’s a fantastic student.”

Armendarez spent some time going to school in New Mexico and Fort Collins, but he always made his way back to Hayden.

“I missed it again so much,” Armendarez said. “It was just the fact that here you know everybody really well, and you can relate to everyone. It’s like one big family.”

In school, Armendarez always had a positive attitude and sense of humor to help shape his personality.

In athletics, Armendarez played football and competed in wrestling and track.

To help prepare himself for a future career, Armendarez took Kleckler’s welding and automotive courses.

“Throughout my senior year I was really interested in going to a trade school instead of college,” Armendarez said.

As a Hispanic male who speaks both English and Spanish, Kleckler suggested Armendarez would likely be more successful if he went to college and got an engineering degree.

“You will be able to write your ticket brother. That’s what I told him,” Kleckler said.

This summer, Armendarez will work at the ranch before leaving in the fall to attend University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where he will study mechanical engineering.

Armendarez said he is more of a hands-on learner, but he can be disciplined enough to take notes.

He plans to return to Hayden after school.

“I honestly hope to come back to this small little town and come back to the power plant or something like that,” Armendarez said.

“I really love this small little town,” Armendarez added. “It’s a good place to grow up and everything.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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