Crestview engineer juggles multiple interests

Affable renaissance man brings multiple talents to life

Brian Hughes | Special to the News Bulletin/USA TODAY NETWORK

CRESTVIEW — Engineering technician Kyle Lusk’s office in the Crestview Public Services office looks like that of a typical municipal engineer. All four walls and his desk are covered with maps, development codes, site plans, proposals and charts.

Fortunately, he has plenty of experience juggling multiple things. Literally.

Kyle Lusk, left, helps colleague Michael Bell, of the city’s IT department, shingle a Crestview Habitat for Humanity house on a recent work day.

While an undergrad at Florida State University, Lusk was a juggler and spotlight operator for the school’s Flying High Circus. Founded in the 1950s, the fully functioning circus started as the only campus sport in which men and women could play together.

“It’s fun and it amuses people,” Lusk said of his juggling acumen.

His many interests and experiences combine to produce a dedicated civil servant whose background belies the cliché of a mundane and straight-forward engineer’s life.

Named the Public Services department’s employee of the year for 2020, Kyle Lusk receives his recognition from Crestview Mayor JB Whitten.

After graduating from Crestview High School in 2009, he got FSU degrees in environmental and civil engineering, plus a minor in physics for good measure.

Uncertain which way to go next, Lusk took a year off to serve in the AmeriCorps, “which is like the Peace Corps, but we help this country instead of other countries.”

Serving in Opelika, Alabama, he worked with Habitat for Humanity, managing the local ReSTORE building materials shop, managing its warehouse, “and a whole bunch of exciting things. On weekends I helped their local affiliate build houses,” he said.

“I ran behind the scenes during the week and helped with construction on weekends.”

Lusk recently returned to those roots in April when a city employee volunteer work day found him once again helping build a Habitat for Humanity house, this time in Crestview.

Among Crestview engineer technician’s Kyle Lusk’s interests is swing dancing, which he does here with a Pensacola dance club member.

His one-year stint with the AmeriCorps VISTA program led to two more years with Habitat for Humanity and, being nearby, led him to graduate work on a major in hydraulic engineering at Auburn University.

“I decided since I was already here, I might as well go to school,” he said.

Returning to Crestview, he started job hunting in the engineering field.

“I applied for many, many, many, many months, and then I worked for Publix. But then I saw the city of Crestview was looking for an engineer, so I applied.”

He got the job in November 2018.

With the city expanding in many directions, Lusk's desk is strewn with engineering documents. He has become less of an engineering technician — his official title — and “more of a project manager and designer.”

Crestview Public Services engineer technician Kyle Lusk juggles multiple projects around town at once, as well as a plethora of outside activities.

In December, having had four years of practical experience working under a licensed engineer, he qualifies to apply for his professional engineer test, which he will take in the spring of 2022.

“Then I can drop the ‘technician’ in my title,” he said.

Meanwhile, he enjoys his work helping Crestview grow, and enjoys his many interests, including swing dancing, which he picked up in college and continues with a swing dance club in Pensacola.

With his fine tenor voice, Lusk sings for the First United Methodist Church’s choir, and plays in its bell choir, both under the direction of his dad, Kevin Lusk, who was also his choral music instructor at Crestview High. While at CHS, he sang in the 120-voice program’s appearances around the country and in London.

As an avid reader, he devours science fiction, fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, escapism, and educational literature. He likes biking, is a scuba diver, and is an Eagle Scout with Crestview Troop 773.

Lusk's dedication and professionalism earned him his department’s employee of the year title for 2020.

When developers, other engineers and his colleagues encounter him doing inspections of gas, roads, electrical and other components of new residential and commercial project job sites, they see why.

He's an interesting guy who knows how to juggle multiple projects — and interests — at once.