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Rail City Profile: Sparks native stays busy counseling, coaching
by Dan Eckles
Nov 21, 2012 | 2817 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Dan Eckles - 1991 Sparks High graduate Meggan Cranmer shares a smile and laugh with her son Koufax at their east Sparks home Monday.
Tribune photo by Dan Eckles - 1991 Sparks High graduate Meggan Cranmer shares a smile and laugh with her son Koufax at their east Sparks home Monday.
The Rail City has a soft spot in Meggan Cranmer’s heart. After all, she went to high school here. She works here and she lives here. So it shouldn’t be a surprise she’s got nice things to say about her home town.

“I was born here and lived here until I was a junior in high school,” Cranmer said. “Then I moved back here in 2005. My husband and I really liked the far east side of Sparks. All the new stores were built on Los Altos about that time. We looked in our neighborhood now and found this house. I just really like it here.

“I feel like everything we need is right here. I rarely have to travel into Reno. I like the school I work at here in Sparks. I love the high school I coach at. I just really like Sparks.”

She’s obviously not alone considering the Rail City’s growth over the past 15 years. But she does have her own story.

Cranmer worked at Washoe County Juvenile Services for six years before becoming an elementary school counselor. Cranmer, who got her undergraduate degree in human service and development from the University of Phoenix, works her counseling magic at Van Gorder Elementary school. She got into school counseling after earning her master’s degree in that field, also from the University of Phoenix.

“I kind of took a roundabout path to my job now, Cranmer said. “Originally, when I was working at WCJS, I wanted to get into marriage and family counseling. I thought I could use that in the probation field or maybe open my own practice. But with coaching and a new family, starting my own business didn’t seem feasible. The school district seemed like a better fit.”

It’s worked out. Cranmer said her counselor job at the local elementary is fun and satisfying. However, the 1991 Sparks High graduate admitted she didn’t initially think she’d enjoy the elementary school scene.

“There are lots of reasons I love my job, but mostly I just really enjoy working with kids and I always have,” she said. “When I first started my graduate school program, I wanted to get into a high school. That was my whole intent and then one of my advisors kind of forced me to do an internship at an elementary and I loved it. I kind of had control over a whole counseling department and I can be part of a team that is the whole school. I love being able to be silly with the little kids. I just enjoy working within the elementary school and I am still getting my high school fix through coaching.”

Cranmer was the varsity girls basketball coach at McQueen from 2006 through 2009. She took a year off and then returned to the sidelines to work as an assistant with the Spanish Springs girls hoops program.

Cranmer, who played basketball at Sparks High and at Lassen Junior college in Susanville, said both her counseling and coaching are rewarding.  

“I do think that my jobs are rewarding,” the 40-year-old said. “There are times when it’s frustrating too but the most rewarding part of my job is seeing kids outside of school, like when they’re excited to see me. Seeing the kids move on from elementary school or graduate later and then come back is great. There are a lot of times when I’ll be doing classroom guidance talking to the kids about whatever topic. They may not understand it then, but they come back and say, ‘hey remember when we did that. I didn’t get it then but I totally get it now.”

Cranmer has a husband, Troy, and a 6-year-old son Koufax. She said coaching basketball takes up most of her free time, but she loves hanging out with her family, going camping and she admits she’s an avid reader who enjoys going to University of Nevada athletic events.  

“We’re a very sports-passionate family,” she said. “A lot of what we do in our free time revolves around sports. Whether we’re coaching or just watching, we do a lot of sports stuff with Koufax. He’s pretty much passion.”

Cranmer, who is a die-hard Los Angeles Dodgers fan, said she’s pretty happy and wouldn’t go back to change much if anything in her life.

“I don’t think I’d change anything,” she said. “I like the way my life has turned out and I’ve learned from my mistakes. If anything, if I had some magic or something maybe I just wish that my dad were here to see my son.”


Cranmer’s Favorites

Food  - “My husband’s home-made tacos”

Author - Sue Grafton

Movie  - The Help

TV Show  - Modern Family

Pro sports team  - LA Dodgers
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