March 14, 2001 11:00 pm

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

La Grande sophomore Jacquie Peters emerged from school Wednesday with slightly less hair and a better idea of what her future may hold.

Peters was one of about 2,000 students from throughout Northeast Oregon who attended La Grande High Schools Career Day. There were more than 300 presenters at the event. The total included representatives of The Cutters Cove in Island City.

Cutters Cove staff introduced students to the hair styling profession. Part of their presentation involved hair styling demonstrations. Volunteers were selected and given free hair styling or trim. Peters was among more than 10 students who had her hair styled.

I enjoyed it, but it was a little embarrassing, Peters said.

The LHS sophomore said that because of what she learned she is considering going into the hair styling field some day.

Those who did hair styling demonstrations Wednesday included Michelle Heighes of The Cutters Cove. She took a conservation approach during her demonstrations.

I did not want to do anything that would get their parents angry, Heighes said.

Other presenters included Oregon State Police troopers Jon Thornton of La Grande and Edward Tudela of Salem, who welcomed the chance to talk to young people.

This gives them the chance to see that there is a face behind the uniform, Tudela said.

Tudela and Thornton urge anyone thinking about a career in law enforcement to stay in school and get a college degree. A degree is not needed now to join the OSP, but it may be in the future.

Tudela said careers with the OSP are rewarding. The best evidence of this is the fact that the OSP has a low turnover rate, he said.

One of the most popular items at Career Day was a CH-47 D Chinook helicopter from the Oregon Army National Guard in Pendleton. It was displayed behind the school. Sgt. 1st Class Scott McCoy helped take dozens of students inside the helicopter.

It was fun to make them smile, McCoy said.

Students who visited the helicopter included La Grande sophomores Cody Presley, Josh Hendrickson and Chris Mundt, who agreed that the Career Day was an inspiring experience.

There is a lot to see and think about, Mundt said.

Students from 22 Northeast Oregon high schools were represented.

Sherry Weissenfluh, head of the Union-Baker Education Service Districts School-to-Work program, said the event expanded the students horizons.

It makes our world in Eastern Oregon bigger. We became global for a day, Weissenfluh said.

Career Day was organized by Pam Dodds, the director of La Grande High Schools Career Center.

Pam is unbelievable, said La Grande School Board member Shari Bennett.

The keynote speaker was Robert Barr, a senior analyst with the Boise State University Center for School Improvement. He said that because of the technical nature of most jobs, it is now virtually impossible to climb the economic ladder without an education.

If you start at the bottom without an education today, you will stay at the bottom, Barr said. If you want to access the good life, arm yourself with the greatest education you can.

Those who are determined are far more likely to succeed. Barr said members of his family have succeeded because they grew up believing that determination is a virtue.

If you are determined to achieve great things, nothing in this world is impossible, Barr said.