MAYFIELD, Ky. — What usually propels students, and adults, to remarkable achievement is the ability to set their own standards.
They don’t limit themselves to just what others around them accomplish.
Which is the trait teachers and family friends of Mayfield High School senior Violet Patty all notice.
“She is more than ready to begin her college career simply because of the many expectations she has set for herself,” said Kara Dowdy, junior English teacher.
“Violet has continuously challenged herself through her studies. She is definitely a leader rather than a follower,” said Daniel Hale, a family friend.
“She is able to set her own strong course, unaffected by the pressures other students may exert,” said Melinda Craig, head of Mayfield’s English department.
That helps explain how Patty, a four-year varsity cheerleader who had perfect attendance in high school as of April, is also set to be valedictorian with a 4.0 grade-point average.
Patty’s work ethic along with her adept social perspective has led her to qualify for the 2009 Kentucky Scholar’s program, and to be named Miss Mayfield High School.
Now it’s all helped her become Teen of the Week.
Patty, daughter of C. Eugene and Teena Patty, 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.
Just as remarkable as Patty’s intelligence (she scored a 32 out of 36 on the ACT), and her drive, is her ability to package it with a fun, approachable attitude. Classmates named her class favorite each of her four high school years.
This year she rapped Shakespeare lines from “Macbeth” as part of the school’s “Shakespeare and Peers” program.
“Each class takes some sort of (Shakespeare) interpretation,” Patty said.
“We sort of twisted (Shakespeare) lines around to be modern but we took the beat from a current song.”
She brings her upbeat attitude to the National Beta Club, Cuba Church of Christ youth group, Red Rage Pep Club and Teen Court.
Patty is president of Youth Leadership, vice president of Future Business Leaders of America and is captain of the cheerleading squad.
Along with her school duties in and outside the classroom, Patty has balanced part-time jobs continuously since 2006.
She worked for two years as an office clerk at Tri State Anesthesia, which her parents own, and three years as a teacher and nursery attendant at Cuba Church of Christ.
Last summer she volunteered to help residents at Danville Centre for Health and Rehabilitation, and since August has been a peer mentor at Mayfield High.
Patty said her family’s involvement in the medical field has her considering pursuing a pre-med degree in college. Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and Transylvania University in Lexington are two colleges she may attend.
Wherever Patty attends, she will likely set, and meet, her own standards.
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.