Swimmer, doctor, and first responder, but wait there’s more!

10 things you should know about Caleb Tegtmeier

From a tourniquet and toolbox in his car to a CPR face shield in his wallet, senior Caleb Tegtmeier is the prime example of “always be prepared.” Here are 10 things you should know about this North Platte High School student.

1. He’s a leader.

At church, Caleb leads middle school as well as serving in a student-leadership group called “Collective.” “I wanted to be like the people who had led me during middle school-to be someone who kids could look up to and ask questions.” He was also selected for a leadership program called the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation (HOBY). “HOBY was a wonderful experience,” he said. “The big theme was stepping out of your shell and bringing people together who aren’t usually together.”

2. He’s always packin’.

Supplies, that is. “I was in Boy Scouts from first grade until the end of middle school, and I quit after First-Class Scout.” Tegtmeier has always been knowledgeable with first aid, which is why he always carries medical supplies. “The first official merit badge I earned in Boy Scouts was the first aid badge, and I still have the book and all the supplies in my room.” He doesn’t just carry your average pack of Band-Aids though, “I have a small trauma pack with gloves, a CPR mask, gauze, sanitizing wipes, and Band-Aids that I carry in my pocket at all times.” A tourniquet rounds out the list, in the event of a bad car accident, he says that it would be necessary to have it to stop bleeding.

Clay Stone
While Tegtmeier puts on disposable gloves, he displays his whole stash of medical supplies that he stores between his room, car, and backpack.

3. He eats 4000 to 5000 calories a day!

“Two nights before we competed for State swim, I ate 6000 calories in a day. But towards the end of the season, I was usually eating about [4000] to 5000.” Tegtmeier attributes his ravenous appetite to the energy level he maintains. Since he’s involved in so much, he says he needs to eat that much food or he will be crabby and irritable.

Clay Stone
Tegtmeier keeps a shoebox full of snacks in his room if he gets hungry. The contents include chickpeas, packs of honey, and various other things.

4. He’s a certified first responder.

Lifeguarding is his passion. “I started my lifeguarding training as soon as I turned 15, but I didn’t fill out my application and start working until seven months later.” Tegtmeier really wanted an active job instead of a fast food job, “I can jump right into the pool after work and swim, rather than go home and watch TV.”

5. He built a working 3D printer.

Busyness with other activities led to the printer going out of commission. “It’s not functioning anymore, but I made a couple projects. I made some guitar picks with designs on them.” As a kid, Tegtmeier had dreamed up his future college destination, his job field, and even where he planned to work. “From the age of 7 or 8, I always thought I was going to be an engineer,” he said. But after taking on an internship, he realized his passion for medicine.

Clay Stone
Though it has since broken, this 3D printer was a project that he built completely from scratch, and it worked for a few projects.

6. He does freelance computer work.

“I’ve always been good with technology, because of my dad,” said Tegtmeier. Brian Tegtmeier, Caleb’s father is the technology director for North Platte Public Schools. Caleb said his dad got him interested in freelance computer work, “I’ve done some work with my dad setting up a server system, and I’ve done house calls.” Tegtmeier’s biggest freelance job has been working as a tech consultant for  the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement (N-CORPE) project, and fixing smaller issues.

7. He runs, bikes, and swims regularly.

“My favorite part is… when you get near the end and you realize, I have gotten this far. I have accomplished this much,” said Tegtmeier.  He started swimming lessons at age 3 and continued to swim throughout elementary school. Tegtmeier has been swimming and running cross country for NPHS since his sophomore year. He also has competed in a pair of triathlons: one solo and one with a team.

Even though Tegtmeier competes in running and swim, he also has two different bikes, and loves to do some biking when the weather is nice.

8. He earned a paid position at the North Platte Pathology Lab.

One night after a swim lesson, Tegtmeier got in the hot tub. He started up a conversation with pathologist Byron Barksdale, who just happened to be there at the time. After seeing his interest in medicine, Barksdale offered Tegtmeier a tour of his clinic and the tour led to an offer. Tegtmeier has started working there part-time as a histology/cytology aide during the time off of school, and will continue to work there this summer.

9. He received the RHOP scholarship to Chadron.

At the start of the 2019 school year, Tegtmeier decided he wanted to become a doctor. He’s really excited about the connections that he has made and continues to make with other medically-inclined classmates. “I’ve already met some friends at Chadron, through the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP), that have similar interests as me.” When Tegtmeier graduates from Chadron in 2024, he will continue his education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. One of the perks of the scholarship is that he will automatically be accepted into UNMC.

Clay Stone
Senior Caleb Tegtmeier holds up his letters from Chadron State College. Tegtmeier earned the Rural Health Opportunities Program scholarship there, which means his undergraduate education will be completely paid for.

10. He didn’t go to public school until 2017.

Tegtmeier’s mom homeschooled him along with his three siblings before that. “My mom wanted me to be prepared for college, and it was getting tougher for her to teach me math and science and still teach my siblings.” His mom also had a baby around that time. “The best thing for me about public school is learning how to work with people, and developing social skills.”