Stacie Suchsland didn't grow up listening to fairy tales. Instead, she and her father solved math puzzles at bedtime.
So, it was with logic and determination that Suchsland set out to make her dreams come true -- and it worked.
She graduated valedictorian from Carson High School in 1999 and will be recognized as the top senior graduating from the College of Arts and Science in today's University of Nevada, Reno commencement exercises.
"I'm kind of a perfectionist so I tried to do the best I could in everything," she said. "I wanted to get an 'A' in all my classes."
She did. She will graduate with a perfect grade-point average in only 3 1/2 years.
Although she spent much of her time studying, Suchsland said she tried to take most of the weekends off and was a student ambassador.
Any personal sacrifices merited the reward.
"It was definitely worth it," she said. "I just figure I didn't want to look back and think I should have studied more. I have no regrets."
A math major, Suchsland plans to become a teacher and will begin student teaching in the spring at Carson High School.
"I'm excited about getting to go to work and show other people how to do math," she said. "It's my favorite subject. It's logical."
Teaching math comes with an extra challenge as Nevada students are struggling to pass the math portion of the proficiency exam, a requirement for graduation.
"A lot of people forget their math after time," she said. "As a teacher, hopefully I can teach them in a way they'll remember and it will help them on tests like that."
Once she completes her student teaching, she hopes to secure a job in Carson City where her parents, Kurt and Pam, live. Her brother, Tim, is a senior at Carson High School.
The commencement ceremony will begin today about 9:20 a.m. at Lawlor Events Center in Reno. More than 1,200 students will receive undergraduate and advanced degrees.