He's been called a "high achiever," "a gifted student in a class of gifted students" and "a fine gentleman."
But Alex Crean is also bright without being brash - a very smart kid who also is unassuming, according to his teachers and coach.
At 17, Alex has found many supporters in his peers and teachers because of his unassuming attitude and gentle nature.
"Alex is blessed with a combination of character traits - industrious, caring, efficient and intelligence - extremely capable, thoughtful, clever - that have made him a tremendous leader and contributor here at Augusta Prep," said Tim Shafer, a math teacher at Augusta Preparatory Day School where Alex is a senior.
"Last year, he excelled in (Advanced Placement) Calculus AB+, and this year I am teaching him in both AP Calculus BC+ and in AP Statistics," Shafer said. "I have also been a coach of the math team where Alex has been a key performer throughout each of the past three years."
Alex, the son of Kevin and Diane Crean of Martinez, has attended Augusta Prep School since eighth grade. Since then, he has been on the cross-country team where Shafer has cheered for him.
Augusta Preparatory Day School's Alex Crean is a National Merit semifinalist and a member of school clubs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I have coached Alex for four years," said Mike Burley, track and cross-country coach at Augusta Prep. "In the beginning, Alex thought of himself as a basketball player who ran a little bit. Although I saw great potential in Alex when he was in eighth and ninth grade, I figured that he would soon realize his running abilities far exceeded that of basketball and, in fact, that is what happened. He now is a runner who plays basketball a little."
Burley, like Shafer, admires Alex for being a high achiever.
"I like coaching Alex," Burley said. "He understands racing tactics and he has a good grasp on the 'why' piece of the training regimen when it comes to physiology. He has that inner motivational drive that we all associate with champion athletes and he has the same drive in academics."
Burley named Alex a team captain this year because he said the senior is a team player and is his "best mouthpiece when he's alone with the other athletes. He is able to translate my philosophies and articulate them in teenage-speak so that down to the last kid, they know what is expected of them and how to get to where they want to go physically."
Alex, who has placed in several all-region and all-state track and cross-country competitions, has yet to decide on a college major. He does, however, plan to continue beyond college to graduate school and says he is keeping an open mind about a career path.
"It's wide open for me," he said. 'My dad is in business, and I really think I could enjoy that, but I want to explore those options in college."
Augusta Prep English teacher Richard Furze is certain that Alex will improve the tone of any class at any college lucky enough to enroll him.
Alex will have a lot to list on his college applications. He is a National Merit semifinalist, a member of the school's French and Spanish clubs and the math team, president of Prep's National Honor Society and a member of the Augusta Red Cross' Youth Board.
"His calm and cheerful personality has also made him well-liked among the entire community here. Very few high achievers are as relaxed, helpful and cheerful as is Alex," Shafer said. "Alex is willing to go the extra mile. As a senior, he is taking five AP classes along with English Honors. This is an outrageous schedule, yet he is handling the challenge beautifully. Alex will meet the challenges of college in a similar way."
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