MAYFIELD, Ky. - Laura Smith lights up when talking about the yearbook.
It's like flipping a switch when the Graves County High School senior describes serving as yearbook editor for three years.
"Yearbook is pretty much my life here at school," Smith said. "I spend almost all my time in the yearbook room."
It's a job she does well.
"She (Laura) is an excellent yearbook editor with outstanding leadership skills," said Kym Rickman, Graves County High School English teacher and head of the yearbook program. "I really enjoy working with her and I know we are creating a very special 25th anniversary yearbook together."
The best one to oversee a record of so many high school memories, an entire year reflected in one book, is someone involved in everything.
And Smith fits that bill from her time suckering tobacco to playing piano for her church to holding down a 4.0 grade-point average.
Smith, daughter of Jeff and Becky Smith, 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 in 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 Newspaper in Education program.
Smith's record in the classroom helps her stand out. She attended the Governor's Scholars Program this summer in Louisville. Smith ranks fourth academically in a class of 320.
Scheduling an interview around advanced-placement calculus wasn't easy.
"Those types don't like to miss the AP classes," said Laura Marrs, Graves County High School counselor.
"Those types" are ones who haven't come close to a B grade in four years, Marrs said.
It's Smith's record within her community that makes her such an outstanding part of it.
She's rung bells for the Salvation Army for seven years. She plays piano for Bethany Baptist Church. She's also worked in tobacco at every stage on her family's farm, Smith's Farm.
"The hardest part is in the middle of the summer when we have to chop and oil and it's really hot outside," Smith said.
Smith hopes to apply that work ethic at Murray State University where she plans to study business.
That'll have to wait until the important stuff is done, however.
Until after one more yearbook.
"Giving them out to the students, that's always my favorite part," Smith said.
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.