Carson Love’s passions for horses, fellow students complement her academics
Carson Love developed a knack for contributing in her own way to Paducah Tilghman High School.
The senior, who was voted class clown and to the basketball homecoming court this year, has reached the state level in high school tennis competitions and in speech contests.
The U.S. Dressage Federation published some of Love’s poems in its monthly magazine, and she performed in school performances of “Fiddler On The Roof” and “Jekyll & Hyde.”
Love writes for the yearbook, maintains a 3.2 grade-point average and takes advantage of a scuba diving certification she obtained at age 12.
“I’ve just always loved the water,” Love said.
So it’s fitting that what might be her legacy at Tilghman is something no one else has ever given the school: an equestrian club.
Love, whose family owns horses and riding areas, started the club as a sophomore.
She took the club a step further by having members practice equine therapy with special needs students at Paducah Tilghman.
“It’s so amazing to see the transformation (in the students),” Love said about the therapy sessions. “You could see their complete personalities. You got to see who they really are.”
It’s that kind of thoughtfulness and achievement that helps make Love a Teen of the Week.
Love, daughter of Riley and Jill Love, 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.
Much of Love’s interests and work ethic starts with horses. Since age 7 she’s competed and taught lessons. Four Rivers Sport Horse Center employed Love as a riding instructor, and she was nominated to be a youth representative for the U.S. Dressage Association.
Those around Love weren’t surprised that she gave back to the school through her passion.
“The Equestrian Club at (Tilghman) exists because she and her family saw a need to provide a venue for the participation of other equine enthusiast students into a recognized extracurricular activity,” said Carolyn Martin, counselor.
“(Love) finds that hard work at the barn with her beloved horses is not really work at all, but a labor of love.”
Her dedication to an interest spilled over into the classroom, where more than one teacher noticed her work ethic and unique ability.
“She has a love of literature which often accompanies an interest in creative writing, in which she has a considerable talent,” said Susan Hancock, English teacher.
“Her writing often has an unusual flair, and she possesses an unusual or delicate way of looking at a subject. I enjoyed her comments on whatever literary piece we happened to be analyzing.”
Hancock also advises the school newspaper, The Tilghman Bell, and noticed Love’s contributions.
“I have found her creativity to be a tremendous asset as well as her sense of responsibility to deadlines,” Hancock said.
Love plans to attend the University of Missouri to possibly study journalism or special education. Regardless where her unique talents and interests take her, you can bet horses will be around.
“Horses are one of the biggest parts of my life,” Love said. “That’s going to be a constant no matter where I go.”
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.