Smart, athletic, musically talented and driven, Stephanie Durbin might be the prototype for the perfect high school student.
Durbin, a 17-year-old Paducah Tilghman High School senior, is a six-year member of the school’s varsity tennis team. She’s a four-year member of the speech team, for which the National Forensics League awarded her the Degree of Merit and Degree of Honor. Durbin is also a member of the mock trial team, academic team, pep club and concert choir, which led her to a March performance at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Durbin is chairwoman of the elections committee, co-chairwoman of the constitutional revisions committee and parliamentarian of her school’s student council. She is also a two-year member of the National Honors Society.
To learn more about Durbin’s involvement at Tilghman, watch the video interview at paducahsun.com.
Tilghman English teacher Susan Hancock said Durbin is very motivated and dedicated to her education.
“Stephanie is a scholar, athlete and musician,” Hancock said. “She is talented in many ways, from choir to tennis to academics.”
Hancock added: “I would say determination to succeed is her greatest strength.”
Durbin’s grade-point average reflects that determination. With a 3.75 GPA and a 31 ACT composite score, Durbin is set to graduate among the top of her class. These statistics also earned her a spot among an elite group of incoming Kentucky seniors that participated in the five-week Governor’s Scholar Program over the summer at Murray State University, where Durbin studied journalism and mass media.
Durbin, daughter of Steve and Karen Durbin, 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.
In the fall, Durbin plans to major in biology at the University of Kentucky, where she earned a Presidential Scholarship. She also hopes to attend pharmacy school after earning her bachelor’s degree.
Durbin said she will miss high school.
“I love Tilghman, actually,” she said. “I have enjoyed everything, like all the clubs, all the sports. I think it’s the perfect school.”
Durbin has also served her school in other capacities. She assisted with scheduling and statistics at the annual Tornado Classic tennis tournament in 2007 through 2010. Durbin also helped with setup of the annual Tornado Alley speech tournament in 2008 through 2010.
“I guess I just like to be involved in a lot of stuff,” Durbin said. “I like to know that I’m a part of things, like in making a difference in the school.”
Tilghman English teacher Todd Ross first met Durbin over the summer, when she was a student in his GSP journalism class at Murray State.
“She is bright, talented and outgoing,” Ross said. “More than any of these factors, what I like most about Miss Durbin is that she is able to think outside the box.
“I have discovered a very warm, compassionate and genuinely nice person to be around.”
Contact Danielle Ray, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.