Miles Butler can be described in two words inside and outside the classroom - a self-starter.
The Paducah Tilghman senior who his teachers call "a genuine, respectful, nice young man," has left his mark on the school as the co-founder during his junior year and current president of the Interact Club. The service-driven organization, modeled after its parent club, the Rotary Club, helps arrange community service activities.
"It showed me how much work it takes to start one club; it was definitely hard work, but worth it," he said.
Butler, son of Danny and Lori Butler, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different teen selected from nominees submitted to the Sun by guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. 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 or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
The self-described hard worker, who began a snow-removal service for his neighborhood along with a friend, said he has learned the value of budgeting one's time effectively while maintaining a high academic standard.
"Education has always been my top priority throughout high school, but I've worked to balance my time efficiently so I can be involved in other activities," he said.
The Paducah native is a three-sport athlete, including serving as the kicker for the football team, pitcher and utility player for the baseball team and varsity starter for the soccer team. He said his interest in athletics began at home, with both parents participating in sports through high school. He was named to the first-team all-state academic team for three consecutive years in soccer and baseball and was nominated for the all-state football team.
The athletic senior will leave his name in the Tilghman record books as the kicker with the most points in history and the longest field goal recorded at 44 yards. Butler emphasized the special feeling associated with breaking records in a high school with such a successful, long-standing football program.
His knowledge of athletics also has translated into his extracurricular activities as he currently serves as an sports editor for the school newspaper, The Tilghman Bell. He said his interest of sports shines on the page because it's easier to write about the things you understand and are passionate about.
Butler is also an active member of the mock trial team, academic team, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), chemistry team, Spanish club and devotional group. He also has been inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) and is a member of the Beta Club. He also was selected for the Governor's Scholar Program last summer for business and entrepreneurship at Morehead State University.
"It was a great opportunity to spend time with the best and the brightest high school business minds," he said.
He also spends much of his free time volunteering through Lone Oak Church of Christ with nursing home devotionals at Superior Care Home on Clay Street and working on the yearly Bible Bowl. He has spent time tutoring other students on mathematics through National Honor Society.
The 4.175 grade-point-average student and winner of Mr. Tilghman during his senior year said his favorite class is mathematics, because he enjoys working with numbers to find the answers to equations. Butler plans to major in engineering or economics, then attend law school for a future career as a lawyer. His interest in law was fostered through school activities such as mock trial and teen court where he served as a prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, juror and clerk.
He has narrowed his college choices to the University of Kentucky in Lexington, the University of Louisville and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He also hopes to continue his love of sports and walk-on for his chosen university's football team.
"Going off to college is an exciting feeling, that high school chapter is closing and now I get to write the next chapter," he said.
Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.