HICKMAN — Few high school students are as highly respected by their teachers and faculty members as Ginelle Bess.
The 18-year-old Fulton County High School senior is an all-around excellent student, according to her teachers.
Melanie Curlin, Bess’ mathematics teacher and former cheerleading coach, said, “She leads the way a good leader should: with a positive attitude and by setting a good example at all times.”
English teacher Deann Reed added, “Ginelle is one of the most creative students that I’ve seen in the last four years. She adds her artistic flair to enhance her already top-notch work.”
Ellen Murphy, science teacher and dean of students, continued, “Ginelle is one of our strongest students at Fulton County High School. ... She is unique from other students in her motivation in and out of the classroom, her commitment to academic excellence, her creative spirit and her leadership abilities among peers.”
With all that support, it’s no surprise that Bess excels academically and in various extracurricular activities. Bess has a 3.3 grade-point average and is set to graduate among the top 10 students in her class, according to Curlin. She scored proficient in on-demand writing in September and has earned proficiency in both science and reading sections of annual state exams.
Bess plans to give back to her mentors after graduation by pursuing a career as an elementary science teacher. She plans to attend Murray State University in the fall and major in elementary education. In the meantime, Bess is honing both her teaching and childcare skills while she works as a baby sitter and teacher’s aid.
Now Bess can add another education accomplishment to her list: Teen of the Week.
Ginelle Bess, daughter of Vernon and Gwenise Bess, 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.
But Bess has much more going for her than academics alone. She was voted Ms. Senior, senior favorite and homecoming queen by her peers. She also serves as the yearbook editor, captain of the dance team, president of Student Council and the reigning Pecan Festival Queen, a local Fulton County tradition.
She is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, Journalism Club, prom committee, National Beta Club, Science Club and Pep Club, for which she was voted Most School Spirit in senior superlatives. Bess will also travel to Louisville later this month for the Kentucky United Nations Assembly, where she and her teammates will represent Haiti in mock U.N. assembly.
Bess serves as secretary of the youth group at Anointed Ministries of Apostolic Faith in Union City, Tenn., where her father serves as pastor.
She also joined the track team her senior year. Why? A quite logical reason.
“Well, I’m going to college and you do a lot of walking in college and I just want to be in shape,” she said.
Contact Danielle Ray, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.