Valedictorian seeks new challenges
Park City High School student Tyler Scott has accepted an athletic scholarship to Stanford University to row on their nationally-ranked varsity crew team. Between you and me, he’s never rowed a scull in his life.
But that did not concern the coaches at Stanford, who saw raw potential. He has a heart rate of 45 beats-per-minute, he’s 6’5," he’s a hard-driving cross-country ski racer and mountain biker, and it also didn’t hurt when they found he’d had already been accepted to Stanford based on his academic abilities, in fact he is the top student in his class.
Scott, the valedictorian of the class of 2007, considered the commencement speech he will give on June 8. "I want to highlight how diverse our class is," he said. "Everyone in our grade has brought something to the table. They’ve raised the school spirit to a new level."
Scott is graduating with a 4.64 grade point average that reflects the high grades he got in a slew of advanced placement classes. But his mother, Karen, said he hasn’t always been the most attentive of students.
"He was a bit of a problem in grade school and middle school," she said. "I had to sit in on some of his classes because they were threatening to kick him out."
Tyler doesn’t dispute his mother’s assessment. "To be honest, some of my middle school teachers might be surprised now," he says.
Scott gained his athletic prowess on the Young Riders Mountain Bike Team, coached by Tom Noaker, and the Park City Nordic Ski Team, coached by Gordon Lange. And now he is ready to test the waters.
Scott said that six of the eight members of Stanford’s 2007-2008 rowing team have never rowed. But Stanford coaches must know what they are doing in selecting the athletes proven in other sports, as they have one of the top Division 1 rowing teams in the country.
Academically, Scott describes himself as "a math/science guy." He plans to major in engineering and political science, and hopes to eventually focus his energies on international business, tying in an engineering background.
He attributes a lot of his academic successes to his high school because ifallows students to challenge themselves to any level. "Park City High is incredible. It’s up to you how hard you want to work."
"It’s all about time management," Scott said of his ability to juggle his time between academics, sports and community service. "It’s all about how much you can handle before being stressed." He sees the athletics as a stress-reliever, but maybe a little stress isn’t all bad. He loves a good challenge "The more you push yourself, the more fulfilling it is, and the more likely you will succeed."
But Scott emphasizes it wasn’t all about grades. "I got the grades because I wanted to learn the material, not because I wanted the grade."
That’s not to say he is motivated all the time. He admits to having some "really amazing procrastination skills." He took an online elective course called Foods and Nutrition, and put off studying until the very end, but got through it. Had he not passed the class, he would not have been able to graduate on schedule.
Scott will enter Stanford next fall, taking on some pretty substantial challenges that others might consider too stressful. But all he does will be based on the foundation of his family, friends and the training he received in Park City High School.
"I love Park City High School. I love the opportunities they have given me. I’m looking forward to the future, but I am going to miss this school."
Tyler Scott will present his valedictorian address at PCHS graduation, June 8 at 5 p.m.
Park City is considering adding another legacy project that would mark the community’s role in the 2002 Winter Olympics.