Carson High grad turns hobby into career
April 28, 2014
After Brian Waltz graduated from Carson High School in 2004, he enrolled in courses at Western Nevada College with plans to become a nurse.
But in the middle of his anatomy class, he had an epiphany.
"My heart just wasn't in it," he said. "I didn't want to do something I didn't enjoy."
At the same time, he was working in the college's information technology department, and "it was a blast," he said.
He just hadn't considered it as a career.
"I didn't think playing around with computers as a hobby would still be fun if I had it as a job," he said. "But I was wrong."
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After working as an intern in the IT department at the Carson City School District, then filling a one-year, grant-funded position, Waltz was hired full time in 2010.
He was nominated by his co-workers, then chosen as this year's Classified Employee of the Year.
"He was nominated because of his strong work ethic an the helpfulness he provides," said Janice Towns, director of information and technology for the school district. "He's helpful and useful, always putting forth the extra effort."
While Waltz tries to do the majority of his work from the central office, he said he also is called upon to go into the classroom to work on teachers' computers or update classroom technology. Sometimes, it can seem like a trip back in time.
"I'm working with some of the teachers who actually taught me, and that's kind of weird," he said. "But I didn't torture them too much, so they're not actively seeking revenge. It's interesting having a different relationship with them."
And it's not just teachers he's navigating new relationships with.
His wife, Becky, is studying to become a teacher and his mom, Irene Waltz, is the longtime technology teacher at Fritsch Elementary School.
His co-workers joke that whenever she calls for technology help, they transfer her to Waltz, telling him, "your mom's on the phone."
"I get a lot of opportunities to tease her at work," Waltz said.
When he's not at work, he said he spends a lot of time online.
"I'm totally a gamer," he said. "And I'm an avid reader. I read a lot of news sites."
He spends much of time outdoors, as well, hiking with his wife.
"I love Nevada because the terrain is so much fun to go wandering around," he said.
And he's grateful for the career choice he made.
"The school district is a great place to work," he said. "I get to work with a lot of great people."