MAYFIELD — Sean Hackel doesn’t want for unique qualities.
The Graves County High School senior was born on Thanksgiving night in 1992.
His 6-foot-3 frame isn’t involved in school athletics but does handle summer work at his family’s Hackel Masonry, where he carries blocks and bricks to job sites.
When his high school didn’t offer full classes of Advanced Placement world civilization and physics, Hackel took on the classes independently with proctored tests.
On track to be his class valedictorian with a 4.0 grade-point average, and seven Advanced Placement courses under his belt, Hackel can’t pick between which subject he most enjoys landing perfect grades in.
“Well, sophomore year I took AP European history and I started liking history a lot more,” Hackel said. “But it used to just be math, period. But mainly just math, science, history, whatever.”
Whatever Hackel does go on to study and accomplish during and after higher education, it’s likely to be unique and extraordinary.
And when he gets to that point, he’ll have Teen of the Week honors to look back on.
Hackel, son of Doug and Heyde Hackel, 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.
Hackel has participated in plenty of programs and organizations that will help determine his interests.
He participated in the Governor’s Scholar Program this summer and traveled to Murray State University. His course work focused on historical analysis, getting as detailed as replicating 12th century sword-fighting techniques.
Since his freshman year, Hackel has volunteered with Graves County-Mayfield Needline bagging groceries and coordinating volunteers.
He started the school’s chess club last year, and helped grow it to more than 20 members this year.
During fall break he participated in the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. For five days he and other students from across the nation replicated the process of passing bills into law and navigating international politics scenarios.
When he isn’t studying or volunteering, Hackel keeps up his piano lessons that he started at age 9. He also mentors freshmen easing into high school life.
He considers attending the University of Kentucky or Georgetown College in Georgetown next fall.
It’s difficult to overstate what kind of academic student the college he attends will receive. Of the 24 classes Hackel took in his first three years, only in five did he not score a perfect 100. Of those five scores, three were scores of 99 and one was a 98.
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.