Andee Shannon is passionate about many things: cross country running, track, soccer and her church. But above all, Shannon is passionate about people.
The 17-year-old Paducah Tilghman High School senior is a volunteer tutor at Kids Enriched by Your Service (KEYS II), an after-school tutoring program for selected first-graders through the Broadway United Methodist Church. She also volunteers as a private tutor and teaches a Bible school class for 4- and 5-year-olds each summer at her church, St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
Paducah Tilghman teacher Todd Ross said, “Miss Shannon displays a lot of character by giving back to her church and community on her own time. It tells me a lot about her character and demeanor that she is willing and able to work with young children as a tutor and teacher.”
Shannon was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 2008 to 2010 and her school’s problem-solving team from 2008 to 2009. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, her school’s concert choir, Student Council and mock trial team. Shannon even had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall with the concert choir in April. To hear Shannon describe what piqued her interest in mock trial, cross country running and track, watch the video interview at paducahsun.com.
Shannon got involved with the school’s Recycle Club her sophomore year. Since then, she organized the funds to place recycling bins at sporting events and arranged for pick-up each Friday.
She was also president of the Sigma Pi Delta sorority her freshman year. The sorority focused on community involvement and social activity. Sigma Pi Delta participated in a local AIDS Orphan Awareness Walk and collected food donations for a Paducah food pantry.
Shannon knows a thing or two about working hard. She has been the nursery coordinator at her church for more than three years. That means she is responsible for maintaining the state-regulated ratio of children to workers and coordinating helpers for three Masses each week. She has also worked as a baby sitter for more than three years.
Shannon worked as a sales associate at Simply B, a gift shop on Broadway, for more than a year before she was selected for the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program over the summer and had to quit the job.
During Governor’s Scholars, she studied cultural anthropology for five weeks at Bellarmine University in Louisville. But the experience taught her more than just cultural studies. She gained independence and made new friends.
“I picked up on how to interact with strangers, because I went there and I didn’t know anyone and ended up finding a friend who, I think we will be roommates next year,” she said.
Shannon worked tirelessly for her opportunities at Governor’s Scholars. She has a 3.76 grade-point average and is ranked seventh of 145 students in her class. She has completed four Advanced Placement classes, with three more in progress. Shannon scored an ACT composite score of 28 and earned the Presidential Award from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
She was on the honor roll for all A’s in 2008 and for all A’s and B’s for two years. She also earned academic all-state first team in soccer for two years and in track in 2008. She scored distinguished in the reading section of state-required testing and was named Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
Andee Shannon, daughter of Kevin and Angie Shannon, 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.
Shannon plans to major in biology at UK in the fall. After college graduation, she hopes to take on medical school, then pursue a career in endocrinology, the study of hormones. She was driven to endocrinology while spending time at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for related problems in her childhood. She said her endocrinologist made all the difference.
Shannon is backed by the support of her family, friends and teachers.
Erin Hayden, a social studies teacher at Paducah Tilghman, said, “She exhibits qualities that are not only admirable, but also are often unseen among her peers: integrity, responsibility, motivation and concern for others.”
Contact Danielle Ray, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.