Lesley Goodaker, Mid-Continent Teen of the Week for April 8, 2013
Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week VIDEO
Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week for April 8, 2013
Being abducted by a Cherokee warrior is just a standard part of a family vacation for Lesley Goodaker.
The Caldwell County High School senior participates in yearly living history demonstrations at Martin’s Station in Virginia. She’s been going with her father to the three-day event, which includes reenactments of 18th-century frontier battles, since eighth grade.
“History wasn’t one of my favorite subjects before I started, but once I got into it, I found myself really wanting to further that knowledge,” Goodaker said.
And if there’s one thing Goodaker enjoys, it’s learning.
Lesley Goodaker, daughter of Joe and Linda Goodaker, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees whom guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year is eligible for a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
As she’s set to be a first-generation college student, Goodaker sees her education as a blessing. She’s first in her class of 128 this year, and boasts a long list of academic achievements.
“My dad has always told me that no matter what happens in life, your education is something that you have to make sure you get. You can lose ... everything, but nobody can take your education away from you,” she said.
Along with a respect for education, Goodaker’s family instilled in her a love of music. She said many of her family members, including her father and siblings, played the saxophone.
“I kept up with the band tradition, but I kind of broke the mold when I did the flute,” Goodaker said.
She has played in her school’s band for seven years and became the band’s sole piccolo three years ago. She said the smaller instrument is a bit trickier than the flute, because players have to concentrate their air more.
“Sometimes when you’re in the upper range, you feel like you’re going to pass out,” she said.
Goodaker is first chair in the band and also has taken over as section leader. She’s responsible for making sure everyone has their music and drill charts, she said.
Goodaker also serves in other leadership roles. She’s vice president of the student council and president of the Spanish club this year. As Spanish club president, Goodaker oversees the group’s after-school program, an activity she says is her favorite community service effort.
“I love Spanish, but it’s definitely been a challenge for me to learn it. Seeing kids so small do it ... just amazes me,” she said.
While Goodaker plans on staying active in music and Spanish, she has her sights set on a career as a crisis negotiator.
A self-described quote junkie, Goodaker said she finds inspiration in a saying from Mohandas Gandhi.
“I have a ring right here that says, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ That kind of hit home for me,” Goodaker said.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.