Tyson Emborg: the teenaged edition


Senior Tyson Emborg messes around in his high school journalism class with a couple of his fellow staff members.

When I interviewed Tyson Emborg, he was in his natural state, busily rushing around the school, holding a cup of coffee, and offering a witty statement to anyone within earshot. However, at the end of my interview I saw traces of a new person inside the SHS government teacher– his teenaged self.

This version of Emborg is so unknown that even his son, Culley, said, “I don’t know anything about his life when he was a teen!”

In 1995, Emborg was a tall kid without glasses, wearing Doc Martens (standard uniform), jeans, a T-shirt, flannel, and a trench coat. The only thing resembling the 2014 Emborg would have been his hair, which was the same then as it is today, except not grey and not balding; and his ties, which he wore on Thursdays only. (“Thursday was tie day. It was just a thing people did.”)

Emborg proudly commented on his apparel, “I had two trench coats. One was flannel lined. And they were vintage, of course.” He added in the mock-excitement of his teenaged self, “Grunge? Hey! I just inherited a whole stack of flannel shirts! How convenient!”

As a senior at Sentinel High School in Missoula, Montana, Emborg had all of the qualities of a stereotypical well-rounded student. He dreamed of going into pre-law, found all of his classes and teachers interesting, was sports editor for his high school newspaper (shout out to journalism!), played baseball in the spring, and tried to go to all school activities.

Despite being so involved in his school, Emborg managed to miss his high school prom.

Regarding this, he jokingly impersonated his younger self, “I didn’t even know there was a prom. Like, ‘Oh! That’s where you guys all were on Saturday night when you didn’t answer my phone calls.’” Note that these calls would have been made on a dial up phone.

Outside of his busy (and prom-less) school schedule, Emborg was a surprisingly adventurous teen. He was very active and also slightly reckless. Once, he was trying to race a car down the Higgens bridge in Missoula and nailed the side of a station wagon that was turning in front of him, flying over the top and landing hard on the road.

Laughing, Emborg recounted a time he epically failed at trying to “hookiebob” off of his friend’s car (that’s when you grab onto the bumper of a car while sliding on ice). His friend, who didn’t notice Emborg, was trying to impress some pretty girls and gunned his car to get their attention, causing Emborg to “eat it.” The girls were very concerned, but Emborg brushed it off to preserve his dignity. Later he recalled, “That one really hurt.”

Indicating his wild side, Emborg joked, “I always tried to make my insurance deductible.” When he was a freshman, he broke his hand, his collar bone, and his foot and gave himself a few concussions to top it all off (pun intended).

In suit with this adventurism, Emborg was also slightly rebellious. He once discovered that his school was wired for a radio while thumbing through an old high school yearbook, being the history geek that he was and still is. With his friends, he broke in and tried to control the audio for the day. Although they failed, Emborg said this is a part of what sparked his interest in announcing.

Emborg’s final comment about his high school experience was a wise statement of curiosity.

“After high school, people redefine themselves to find success. It’s interesting to see who everyone turns out to be.”

Sheridan High School is lucky that Emborg found his success teaching teenagers in an American government classroom.