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Sixth in a series of 10 personality stories on the top 10 academic students in Loudonville High School's Class of 2017.
For Ethan Gerich, games, specifically computer games, are definitely "his thing."
A senior at the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center, enrolled in Thomas Close's engineering classes, Gerich has from the start been interested in computer games -- playing them, mastering them and designing them.
"My capstone project in my engineering class this year has been development of a computer game, Literal Adventure," he said. "I have developed several systems for my game, which to date is not published. I started working on it as a junior, first designing it in Programming C, and then transferring the code to the program Visual Basics."
Now in his second year at the Career Center, Gerich noted "for me it is the best place to learn. I came here because of the computer programming opportunities, but there is so much fantastic equipment available here, exposing me to not just programming, but robotics, engineering principles, use of forces, programming logic, controllers -- just about everything."
Gerich isn't fully sure where his future lies. His preference will be to go to Chapman College in Orange, California, and while there, get an internship at Blizzard Entertainment, a game designing company as well as picking up software development skills."My career goal is to design computer games," he said.
A second choice is Full Sail University in Florida, either its resident program or online program. "And I already have been offered a tuition free scholarship at North Central State College in Mansfield, if I can't do the others," he said.
Gerich is the son of Mindy Gerich and Mark Bennett of Loudonville, and he has been enrolled in the Loudonville schools since kindergarten. He carries an academic average above 3.7, and said he has always enjoyed math and science classes the most, especially the Career Center's engineering program. Most classes come fairly easily to him, and he said he spends the most time working on engineering coding. "Sometimes math has been hard for me," he admitted.
Since last fall he has worked -- about 20 hours a week -- at the Loudonville Pizza Hut, mostly cooking.
His favorite avocation is swimming. "I swim whenever I can," he said. He also enjoys drawing.
He has three half brothers and one half sister. Among them are Lee Brown-Gerich of Perrysville and Austin Brown of Loudonville.