Park City student graduates from the U | ParkRecord.com

Park City student graduates from the U

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

Park City High School graduate Crystal Christiansen just graduated from the University of Utah as the valedictorian of the College of Education. She got one A minus in her college career. So why the A-minus?

"I went to my brother’s wedding and missed a lot of class discussion. I got a zero. It was kind of a bummer," she said.

Christiansen grew up in Park City, going through the school system, graduating from PCHS in 2003. She played varsity basketball and soccer and ran track. Her extra- curricular activities, she said, "most definitely" helped her prepare for college and for life. Her life has been a series of self challenges ever since.

"I learned to prioritize. I also learned leadership. Park City High School was great preparation for college. It was an easy transition."

Christiansen spent her first year of college at Utah State, then transferring to The University of Utah for the rest of her career. Her college career has been impressive with her graduating Summa Cum Laude, graduating as her class valedictorian, and graduating with a nearly perfect grade-point average.

If she has any advice for those entering college, it is, "Pay attention in class," which she found to be the most important aspect for understanding." She also believed in herself, challenging herself with high expectations and meeting them.

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But that’s not to say her life has no balance. "It’s very important to get away," she said. "You live life only once. You have to make sure you don’t have any regrets.

She already has a job lined up, teaching fifth-grade at Northstar Academy charter school in Bluffdale. "A charter school gives you more freedom in the curriculum," Christiansen said, while acknowledging that core subjects are core subjects. She is looking forward to helping her students. "I want to make a difference in lives."

It doesn’t sound like she’s done with her education, and will likely work toward her Master’s degree. "I like to learn."

Christiansen will begin teaching in the fall, and for now, she said it is strange after graduating. "It’s kind of crazy. You’re in a new world, and it’s kind of scary, but I’m excited.