MAYFIELD — Kelsey Colley strives for perfection.
Not that it’s always easy. The 18-year-old Graves County High School senior spends hours each night doing homework and studying.
“I cried the first time I ever left my name off my paper, because I was so disappointed with myself,” she said.
But all that pushing has made Colley who she is today, a hard working super-student.
Colley, an honor roll student, holds a 4.0 grade point average and is ranked No. 2 in her class of 293 students. She also scored an impressive ACT composite score of 35 and a perfect score on the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam in July.
Jodie Blalock, a Graves County High School teacher, said, “Kelsey is an amazing student. Kelsey is academically successful in all areas of school. In math class, she demonstrates her ability to problem solve and to apply her analytical thinking skills.”
Colley was also selected to participate in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program at Centre College in Danville over the summer. During the five-week program, Colley studied cultural anthropology and architecture. Cultural anthropology sparked her interest because she enjoys travel and learning about other societies. Architecture comes naturally to Colley, whose favorite subjects in school are science and mathematics.
Colley’s outstanding academic achievements have made her Teen of the Week.
Kelsey Colley, daughter of Stan and Penny Colley, is the Murray State University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MSU Teen of the Week selected from nominees submitted by high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, earning a $5,000 scholarship to Murray State. Teen of the Week is part of the Sun’s Newspapers in Education program.
She plans to attend either Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., or Harding University in Searcy, Ark., in the fall, though she is undecided about her major.
But Colley is more than just book smarts.
She volunteers at the West Kentucky Youth Camp in Farmington, the American Red Cross in Mayfield and her school’s Freshman Mentoring program, in which she helps mentor about 120 freshmen twice per week. She also volunteers at her church, Farmington Church of Christ, where she has attended since she was a small child.
She is also a copy editor for her school’s yearbook, student council president and a member of the school’s WGCE-TV staff. Colley is a member of the school’s chorus and has participated in district and quad-state choral festivals.
Colley’s yearbook staff adviser and teacher, Kym Rickman, said, “Aside from Kelsey’s unequaled work ethic and academic ability, her personality sets her apart. She genuinely cares about others, and as a member of the yearbook staff, Kelsey has brought such a positive vibe; I’m so thankful I’ve been a part of her senior year.”
In 2005, Colley won her school district’s spelling bee and participated in the state spelling bee. To see Colley’s spelling skills put to the test, watch the video interview at paducahsun.com.
Contact Danielle Ray, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.