Payson High School junior Elizabeth Goodale would like to shoot pictures for National Geographic one day.
While she realizes that's every photojournalist's dream job, Goodale took a first step in that direction by job-shadowing Payson Roundup publisher Richard Haddad on a recent photo shoot. PHS students apply for the Job Shadow program and usually spend four to eight hours "shadowing" a person in career fields they might want to pursue, according to guidance counselor Don Heizer.
Instead of shooting charging elephants in the heart of Africa or lost civilizations in South America, Goodale and Haddad went to places like Green Valley Park, Alfonso's Mexican Food and Marble Slab Creamery. She didn't bring home a trophy to hang on her wall, but she did get a free ice cream cone.
"I got the cone the lady was posing with," Goodale said.
And she did get an idea of what a day in the life of a photojournalist is all about.
"We took a lot of pictures," she said. "It was a lot of fun, and it gave me a lot of understanding about what I'll be doing -- what a typical day is like."
And she picked up some photographic intangibles that will make the road to National Geographic a little easier to traverse.
"I learned how to capture more emotion," she said. "And I learned how to make my pictures not only easier to look at, but to make them something people want to look at."
Goodale, who shoots with a Canon AE1, has not yet ventured into the world of digital photography.
"I'm still a 35mm kind of girl," she said.
Besides photography, Goodale is deeply involved in the PHS Drama Department. She has appeared in "The Sound of Music," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Kokonut High," and "Robin of Sherwood." and she will appear in "Fear," the one-act play the drama department is taking to state competition and will perform in Payson April 17.
But she is most excited about this year's musical, "Footloose," in which she has the leading role -- Ariel, the preacher's daughter. "Footloose" runs April 3 to 5 at the PHS auditorium.
Goodale will probably study photojournalism at the University of Arizona after she graduates next year, although she still has her sights set on Sarah Lawrence -- a private school back East.
"I think it's in Massachusetts, but don't quote me on that," she said.
If you get the impression Goodale is a girl who shoots for the top, you get the picture. And speaking of pictures, don't be surprised if one day when you open your National Geographic, you see her name next to a photo spread of charging elephants.
PHS drama assistant Kathy Siler, who is directing "Footloose," won't be.
"Elizabeth is a risk taker," Siler said. "She's willing to step beyond the boundaries and confines of other people's expectations to make something happen."
Heizer is a believer, too.
"We all mature at different levels, and some young people just know what they're going to do and they just go for it," he said. "She's one of those who is focused beyond her years."
Job Shadow participants
Besides Elizabeth Goodale 44 PHS students participated in Job Shadow Day:
Lauren Bartoli (Tetra Tech)
Joe Behrens (Forest Service)
Jami Blalock (Anderson Dental Group)
Beth Bradford (Shear Attitude)
Megan Brininstool (Family Mercantile)
Alison Brown (Pine Country Animal Clinic)
Curt Connolly (Wrangler Plumbing)
Autumn Conway (Deja Vu Beauty Salon)
Christina Culligan (Payson Police Department)
Jamie Ewing (Cut Loose Hair)
Kyle Fogarty (Forest Service)
Robert Gessler (Payson Building Department)
David Gilliland (DPS)
Hillari Hardt (Payson Elementary School)
Shea Hatch (Samaritan Family Health)
Rosanne Hericks (Payson Humane Society)
Robert Kincanon (Gila County Attorney's Office)
Jason Knoell (Payson Athletic Club)
Katharina Krison (Julia Randall Elementary)
Kelly LaFoy (Payson Pet Care)
Matt Lister (Exclusive Refinishing)
Sarah Marafi (Rim Country Vet Clinic)
Micaela Medlock (Country Kitchen Restaurant)
Ramsey Milam (Diamond J Vet Service)
Tanner Morgan (Payson Police Dept.)
Kevin Murphy (DPS)
Becky Nelson (Shear Attitude)
Michael Orozco (Haught Excavation)
Brian Paap (Gila County Sheriff's Dept.)
Jenna Palandri (Sawmill Theater)
Dana Qualls (Payson Humane Society)
Dustin Rodgers (Payson Police Department)
Jeremy Ruff (PCW Custom Works)
Andy Sargent (Payson High School)
Steven Sheehan (Comp-u-doc)
Jaherr Smith (Wal-Mart)
Sonja Soto (Majestic Mountain Inn)
Tami Standley (Deja Vu Beauty Salon)
Melissa Stole (APS)
Joshua Szabo (Payson Fire Department)
Alex Vlahopoulos (Dr. Munoz)
Krystle Wagner (Gila County Attorney's Office)
Jeremiah Watson (Watson Construction)
Brenna Zumbro (The Apothecary Shop)