Nathan Arant has many passions.
Among the Marshall County High School senior’s top priorities are family, friends, church, soccer and the outdoors.
As an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing and camping, Arant’s summer job at Clark’s River Refuge in Benton felt more like play than work.
Arant, 18, volunteers at Open Hearts Food Pantry through his church, Calvert City United Methodist, where he shelves and bags groceries.
The volunteer project closest to Arant’s heart is “Buzzing for a Cure,” which he started in January in honor of a classmate who was diagnosed with leukemia just before Christmas and underwent chemotherapy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. The project challenged faculty and administrators to shave their heads at certain milestones of funds raised. Many students also volunteered to shave their heads in support. The fundraiser brought in more than $8,000 to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Organization.
Senior guidance counselor and fellow Calvert City United Methodist Church member Jill Boone said the “Buzzing for a Cure” project is typical for Arant’s character.
Boone recalled the school’s soccer banquet, at which Arant spoke.
“As I listened to him give the invocation ... I remembered watching him be baptized six years earlier,” Boone said. “I had just had my first child and thought to myself how I hoped (my son) would grow up and follow in Nathan’s footsteps. And now, six years later, I can honestly say that is still my wish. Nathan has stayed true to his beliefs and not compromised his integrity.”
Nathan Arant, son of Michael and Nan Arant, 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.
When he’s not holding down a job or helping others, Arant is either playing soccer or studying.
Arant was named first team all-region for soccer in 2009, second team all-region in 2010 and won the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award for his school in November. He also helped the Marshals claim district and regional champions in 2009 and 2010. To hear Arant describe his soccer experiences, watch the video interview at paducahsun.com.
Arant’s history teacher and soccer coach, Andrew Pagel, said he is a natural leader.
“Nathan has advanced interpersonal skills and enjoys the company of adults. He has chosen friends with his character, disposition and values. His sense of humor demonstrates maturity beyond his years. At times, we teachers and coaches come across players and students that we can use to help us gauge the class and the team. ... Nathan has made me a better coach and teacher as a result.”
Arant has a 3.7 grade-point average and is ranked in the 92nd percentile in his class. He has already taken agriculture classes at Murray State University, where he will attend in the fall. Arant plans to major in engineering, possibly pertaining to agriculture.
Contact Danielle Ray, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8657.
“At times, we teachers and coaches come across players and students that we can use to help us gauge the class and the team. ... Nathan has made me a better coach and teacher as a result.”
History teacher and soccer coach, Marshall County High School