Since graduating from Minnetonka High School in 2005, Jeff Edmondson has had an incredibly successful career as a meteorologist. Some may even recognize him from his time as "Weatherman Jeff" on KARE11 local news. However, Jeff's interest in meteorology began way back in his elementary school years, long before he was commissioned to work on live television.
"In my fifth grade yearbook at Minnewashta, they asked every student what they wanted to be when they grew up, and a meteorologist was what my answer was," Jeff explains. "I've been interested in it since I was a little kid. I would say [I first became interested] when I was in third or fourth grade and we had a meteorologist come and talk to us."
Jeff continued to work towards his dream career all throughout high school and college. At MHS, he was one of the first "weathermen" to speak on the Morning Show announcements. In college at Iowa State University, Jeff broadcasted weather updates with the school news, and strengthened his resume taking difficult math and science classes that would prepare him for a meteorologist career.
Jeff's first job as a weatherman was in Duluth, MN. He quickly moved on to work at WAVY10, a local news and weather channel near Virginia Beach, and later at KARE11 here in the Twin Cities. Today, Jeff has returned to Virginia Beach where he continues to enjoy working his dream job each day.
"That's the biggest change [in my life since high school," Jeff says. "Something I always wanted to do I am now able to do everyday."
One of Jeff's favorite parts of being a weatherman is the opportunity to make a difference in other people's life by keeping them safe. He recalls one time, when a woman called him after he was on air overnight during a severe thunderstorm. A tree had fallen on her house, crushing her bedroom, and she said she owed her safety to Jeff's recommendation earlier on that everyone move to the basement. "That's why I do what I do," Jeff explains, "to keep people safe. I enjoy weather, and I find severe weather fascinating, but it's also scary, and it's amazing to feel like you've saved someone's life."
Jeff is thankful for the support he received at Minnetonka High school from teachers and staff, especially highlighting the "[The MHS Morning Show] was huge in helping me get to the position I am in now, and the success that I've had with my career. It helped me keep that interest in meteorology present—if we didn't have the Morning Show, I may have lost that interest."
Wanting to give back to the place where his passion first started, Jeff enjoys doing talks at elementary schools about weather and what it means to be a meteorologist. He hopes to calm students' fears about severe weather, as well as encourage them to say curious and interested in science.
To current Minnetonka students and recent graduates, Jeff advises them to follow their passion and become involved early on through forming connections with others in the same field. "Networking and building relationships are one of the most important things you can do in addition to having good grades and being academically strong."