CARSON CITY — When he was just 2 years old, Tyler Craig was given a computer mouse to play with as a toy in his high chair.
It didn’t take but a few minutes for the toddler to realize the mouse wasn’t doing much and was designed for much more.
Throughout his next 16 years, Craig, now 18 and a senior at Carson City-Crystal High School, found himself close to computers, so much so, that he (unofficially) became the assistant technology director for Carson City-Crystal Area Schools during his sophomore year.
“From an early age, my mom had me working on computers,” he said. “I’ve always been around them. Over the last three years I’ve been learning every day.”
On top of his technology achievements, Craig is also a four-year member of the cross country and track teams and boasts a GPA of 3.94, ranking third in his class.
Keeping on top of his academics while balancing the workload of his technology position along with school sports isn’t easy, but Craig is able to make it work.
“I work pretty late hours sometimes, after school,” he said. “The first three hours of school I’m also working the technology position, so I usually have time for my other studies after school.”
Craig’s high school track coach Marcus LeGrand said Craig has always stood out to him as a dedicated student.
“Academically, he’s probably one of the best students we have,” LeGrand said. “Working for the school, he does an outstanding job with that as well. For us teachers, whenever we need help with computers, he’s there for us. He took the bull by the horns, took on a leadership position, and has ran away with it.
LeGrand said that in his three years of coaching Craig, he’s come to appreciate how straightforward of a student he is, never beating around the bush when it comes to giving an answer.
“He’s a no-nonsense kid, and that’s what you want,” he said. “I like him because I understand that and appreciate that. He’s hard working. He’s always willing to help others when they need it.”
Outside the classroom, LeGrand said Craig puts forth a great enough effort that spills over and inspires other students and teammates.
“He understand what hard work looks like, not just in the classroom, but on the track as well,” he said. “I can rely on Tyler to practice in the offseason when no other student will be out there. He’s improved on his running times time and time again. If I had 10 more Tylers, I’d probably have 10 kids participating at the state level.”
If not for a few physical limitations, LeGrand said Craig would be winning state titles on a yearly basis.
“If he were a little taller his strides would be a little longer and he’d be a world class athlete,” he said.
For Craig, participating in sports that involve so much running, as he runs both the one-mile and two-mile events in track, come from his parents’ history.
His older sister also ran cross country, and he began following in her footsteps, literally, when he was in sixth grade and she was on the high school team.
“It’s just something that I’ve always enjoyed,” he said. “My parents did it, my sister did it, and I followed along. I just followed along with the pack and have been running with the cross country team for seven years now. I started and just never stopped.”
Craig plans on attending Kettering University this fall with a focus on computer engineering or computer science.
“I’ve got my apprehensions, but yes, I’m excited,” he said of attending the college. “I hope to get a job in network administration someday.”
Craig said he wouldn’t trade up his busy schedule for everything he has experienced.
“I’ve made so many friends in track and cross country,” he said. “They’re my best friends, my family.
Academically, Craig said he follows a simple set of instructions to maintain success.
“I kept up on my classwork and paid attention in class,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Carson City-Crystal High School
What: Carson City-Crystal High School commencement
When: 4 p.m. June 1
Where: Carson City-Crystal High School East Gymnasium
Speakers: Scott Postema and Lindsay McClintic, the two students with the top grade point averages.
Number of Graduates: 75
Class Flower: Orchid
Class Song: Remix of “On Top of the World” by The Script, “On My Way” by Phil Collins, and “Started From The Bottom” by Drake.
Class Motto: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” by Christopher Robin in “Winnie the Pooh.”