Teen earns respect amid top grades, ‘nut queen’ status
HICKMAN, Ky. — “Well-rounded” hardly does justice to Mary Langford’s leadership and achievements.
Not when the senior’s highlights from her four years at Fulton County High School include:
A 4.0 grade-point average and projected valedictorian status.
President this year of the Jesus and Me Too Club and National Beta Club.
The 2007 Pecan Festival Queen.
“All of my friends call me the nut queen, actually,” Langford said. In a town such as Hickman — home to large nut-related businesses including the Kentucky Nut Corp., which the Langford family owns — pecan festivals and pageants make sense.
They also make for eye-catching resume points, Langford said.
“It’s original,” Langford said. Which is what her teachers say about her, too.
“As a teacher for more than 20 years, there are many students who evoke the keenest admiration and respect. Mary stands out among those students,” said Melanie Curlin, Fulton County High math teacher.
Now Langford can add Teen of the Week to the ways in which she stands out.
Langford, daughter of Tim and Karen Langford, 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.
All the signs of a top student appear on Langford’s record. She was a Governor’s Scholar last summer, experiencing college life at Morehead State University for five weeks.
For four years she balanced a part-time job at Kentucky Nut with a varsity cheerleading position and officer positions in FFA.
She has served as class vice president since her sophomore year and a volunteer with Backyard Bible School. The mission program took her in 2007 to Manoel Urbano, Brazil, where she led children’s Bible studies.
Langford’s time at Fulton County High also includes aspects that aren’t necessarily on every top student’s record, points such as respect and integrity.
“She (Langford) has a keen sense of right and wrong and is willing to serve in many ways in many different organizations,” Curlin said.
“Mary stands out as a leader through the examples that she sets for her peers,” said Deann Reed, English teacher. “Her peers have a great amount of respect for her because they know she truly cares about others and their well being.”
Langford plans to attend Murray State University in the fall, and wants to study to become an optometrist. Langford said she’s aiming for that career because she likes working with people and wants to help others, something she’s had plenty of practice at so far.
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.