For some, the path to success has a few turns. That was the case for Anthony Loehl, a 2012 graduate of Oak Hills High School and the Diamond Oaks Pre-Engineering program.
Loehl spent his time at Great Oaks learning advanced manufacturing and took a job with a manufacturer during his senior year. After high school, he went to Cincinnati State to study civil engineering. A change in the program, though, convinced him to set off in a new direction. “I left school and took a job as a bowling mechanic, repairing pinsetting machines,” he said. “It was a pretty relaxed job.”
But then he got a call that set him toward a lifelong career goal. “A friend from Diamond Oaks told me about a job opening in the Southwest,” he said. A short time later, he became a wind turbine technician in Albuquerque. “I’ve always wanted to work in the sustainable energy field.”
Loehl said his time at Great Oaks played a large role in landing the job. “I applied, and they loved both the work experience I had after high school as well as the skills I learned in high school.”
Making the move across country was exciting, he said. “It was quite exhilarating—a brand new experience and a brand new future.” And New Mexico was welcoming. “The Sandia Mountains stare down at you, and it’s always sunny, always beautiful here.”
He has already moved up a level in the company, one of the larger companies in the renewable energy business—but that’s not where it ends for him. A college degree, continued growth into solar energy, and more are ahead. “At some point I will be an entrepreneur, working at the forefront of this industry,” he said, looking toward solar panel manufacturing and distribution.
For those thinking about attending Great Oaks, Anthony Loehl has some advice. “Don’t think twice. Try it out; what you find at Great Oaks you can’t find anywhere else. And if anyone tries to discourage you, don’t listen. Do what’s true for you.” And, he said, if you’re not sure what you want for your future, try something new. “Sometimes you develop for yourself what you want to do in life.”